Zilan Women's Festival to take place on 18 June in Frankfurt

Kurdish women in Germany are preparing for the traditional Zilan Women's Festival that will take place on 18 June in Frankfurt.

The Zilan Women's Festival, the biggest gathering of Kurdish women in Germany, is being held for the 16th time this year. Organized by YJK-E, the Festival will take place on Saturday, 18 June 2022 in Frankfurt, Frankensteiner Str. The festival has not been held for 3 years because of the Covid pandemic.

Resist, organise, live free

The Preparatory Committee made a written statement saying that they have already started to prepare the festival. Drawing attention to the timing of the big meeting, the committee said, "Our festival will be held with the slogan iLi ber xwe bide, Xwe bi rêxistin bike, Azad bijî-Diren, Organize, Live Free’, to send a message to all women.”

The statement added: “We are living through a period in which the women's resistance, reached its peak in Zap, Avaşin, the Medya Defense Areas and Shengal. All of our components operating under the umbrella of YJK-E support the Zap-Avasin resistance, which is now in its 1st month, with the slogan 'Bijî Berxwedana Guerrilla', and led the actions carried out in Europe. Women showed that they are a part and complement of this resistance. On this occasion, we salute the resistance once again.”

The statement said: “We are preparing for the Zilan Women's Festival in such an important process. As it is known, we have not been able to hold our festival for 3 years due to the Covid pandemic. We invite all Kurdish women living in Germany, as well as feminist, left socialist, democratic women's circles and organizations, to participate in this great meeting."

The colours of the festival

As in all women's festivals held to date, the program of the 16th Zilan Festival will be very rich. In addition to female artists singing in different dialects of Kurdish, a folklore performance and a dance group will also take the stage. In addition, a fashion show tent reflecting the rich culture of Kurdish women will be opened. A children's park will be established during the festival. At the festival, there will also be info stands where women will exhibit their works and intellectual productions as a mirror of women's labor.

A festival held since 2004

Zilan Women's Festival is the biggest cultural and social event of Kurdish women in Germany. The festival was first held in Gelsenkirchen on 10 July 2004 with the slogan "Women Crossing Borders Meet". Dedicated to Uta Schneiderbanger (Nûdem) and Ekin Ceren Doğruak (Amara), the 2nd Zilan Women's Festival was held again in Gelsenkirchen on 18 June 2005 with the slogan "A Democratic Ecological World".

In the following years, the festival was held under various slogans depending on the periodical activities of the European Kurdish Women's Movement, such as Jin Jiyan e, Jiyanê Nekuje-Woman is Life, Don't Kill Life!” "Em Ne Namusa Tu Kesî ne, Namusa Me Azadiya Me Ye!-We are nobody's honour, our honour is our freedom!" “No to Women Crime!”.

In response to the Paris Massacre in 2013, the festival was dedicated to the 3 Kurdish women revolutionaries killed in Paris.

Again, the 14th Zilan Women's Festival, in 2018, was held with the slogan "Defending Afrin is Defending the Women's Revolution".

Finally, the 15th Women's Festival, held on 22 June 2019 with the slogan "Women liberate resistance", was dedicated to hunger strikers.