Press Pack

Overview

What?

Co-operation in Mesopotamia (formerly Co-operative Economy in Rojava and Bakur) is building international economic solidarity between co-operative movements in the UK and Europe with those creating a thriving, democratic, and gender-equal society in Northern Syria (Rojava) and Bakur (eastern Turkey). The project provides the only comprehensive resource on the region’s co-operative economy in the English language. Our aim is to build international solidarity between the UK and this region.

Why?

The Rojava Revolution taking place in Northern Syria is transitioning the region into a gender equal, and democratic society, based on communes, co-operatives and citizen committees. The movement is rebuilding society based on three fundamental pillars – direct democracy, ecology, and women’s liberation – and co-operation plays a crucial role.

In Bakur – the predominantly Kurdish region of eastern Turkey – people are setting up co-operatives within a similar democratic model, despite ongoing military repressed by the state of Turkey.

As writer and activist of the Kurdish Women’s Movement, Dilar Dirik, says: “solidarity is co-operative work. Supporting the revolutionary efforts in Rojava to create a solidarity-based economy for a communal, self-sustained society means to contribute to the development of a fundamentally different kind of ethical and political understanding of life. Building bridges between radical, ecological concepts of economy against capitalism’s systematic destruction of life itself is a historic struggle that everyone who does not accept domination, colonisation and exploitation as fate, should rally behind.”

How?

We do this by:

  • Raising awareness
    We’ve published over 200 articles to date, and we speak all over the UK and, increasingly, at international events, from large conferences to small informal workshops
  • Research and translation
  • We research, translate and collate articles on all aspects related to the economy in Rojava and Bakur, from ecology, to direct democracy, to women’s liberation.
  • Building solidarity with Rojava
    We’re partnering with women’s economic structures in Rojava to build connections between co-ops there and in the UK, offering a number of ways for co-ops to support the movement, for example by becoming a sister co-operative.

Who?

Co-operation in Mesopotamia is a project by the Solidarity Economy Association, a not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder co-operative working to support the growth of the solidarity economy movement. Its core work focuses on education, research and promotion of the solidarity economy – an economy that embodies social justice, diversity and pluralism, co-operation, self-management and ecological sustainability.

Jo Taylor coordinates the project. Jo has been active in grassroots political and community organising for well over 10 years in several different countries, on topics ranging from ecological and environmental struggles, to freedom of movement, to building sustainable autonomous communities and internationalist solidarity.

Kat Darling provides communications support for the project. Kat’s PR experience spans the broadcast, charity, higher education and public sectors, having held positions at organisations like rural community co-ops charity Plunkett Foundation, Oxfordshire County Council, and the BBC.

Colm Massey provides strategic support for the project. Colm is a father of two, a digital tool maker and animation industry veteran, with a long term interest in alternative economics. He has been a social justice activist for most of his adult life, with a particular interest in migrant justice and Middle East solidarity.

Media enquiries:

email: kat@solidarityeconomy.coop
call: +44 (0) 7983 390434
tweet: @darlingkat / @SolidarityEcon

Our recent press releases:

2018-06-13 – Free workshops to help UK co-ops support Northern Syria’s transition to a co-operative economy

2017-10-21 – First ever conference of co-operatives to be held in Northern Syria