Wednesday 7 March 7-10pm















This meeting of the Feminist Duration Reading Group is the second exploring aspects of contemporary Kurdish feminism and considers women’s roles in the Kurdish political movement and in broader Kurdish society.The conversation will centre on texts written by Kurdish authors and activists Abdullah Öcalan and Sakine Cansiz, and their views on feminism, gender equality, women’s rights and demand for women’s liberation globally.

Abdullah Öcalan’s Liberating Life: Woman’s Revolution, comprising extracts from books written throughout his life, gives an overview of women’s rights.

Sakine Cansiz’s Sara: My Whole Life Was a Struggle is an autobiographical account of her life in parallel with the ongoing Kurdish movement until her arrest in 1979.

Led by Kezia Davies and Mariana Lemos, the session features guest speaker Elif Sarican, anthropologist and activist, who will introduce the texts. She has spoken at many events such as the Women’s Strike and Who Would be Free Themselves Must Strike the Blow at Nottingham Contemporary. 

This session will be held as part of The Table, a week long exhibition and series of events developed by Mariana Lemos as part of the cultural programme of The Swiss Church. Considering the active position of feminist practices within the space of an exhibition, the programme evokes images of domestic intimacy, and ideas of horizontality and democracy, while also drawing attention to who routinely gets included, and excluded, from the table?


It feels important to bring to the FDRG and The Table Kurdish feminisms writings to inspire us to reimagine our own position, particularly in a time and place, that coincides with the Women’s Strike - Friday 8th March.

Please bring copies with you. No advance reading is required as we will read together, out loud, on the night

Abdullah Öcalan Liberating Life: Woman’s Revolution pp40 – 43 and pp54 – 60

Sakine Cansiz Sara: My Whole Life Was a Struggle pp55 – 71 and pp273 – 287

The Feminist Duration Reading Group focuses on under-known and under-appreciated feminist texts, movements, and struggles from outside the Anglo-American feminist tradition. Started at Goldsmiths, University of London, in March 2015, since July 2015 it has been generously hosted by SPACE in Hackney. The group also regularly meets in non-institutional spaces, including in community centres and in the homes of friends of the group where cooking and eating combine with reading and talking.

The Feminist Duration Reading Group welcomes feminists of all genders and generations to explore the legacy and resonance of art, thinking and collective practice from earlier periods of feminism, in dialogue with contemporary practices and movements. It is led by the Feminist Duration Working Group whose current members are Giulia Antonioli, Angelica Bollettinari, Lina Džuverović, Sabrina Fuller, Haley Ha, Lily Evans-Hill, Félicie Kertudo, Mariana Lemos, Roisin O’Sullivan, Ceren Özpinar, Sara Paiola, Helena Reckitt, Justin Seng, and Fiona Townend.

If you would like to join the reading group mailing list, propose a focus for a subsequent session, or invite us to lead a meeting, please write to