Benedetta Argentieri is a journalist and film producer. Her work concentrates on women’s problems and activities world-wide. She has visited different regions in Kurdistan, mainly in Iraq (Başûr – South Kurdistan) and in Syria (Rojava – West Kurdistan). In doing so she learned about the Kurdish Women’s Movement. She says that the exploration of different practices from those of Western feminism is very important.
She took joined the Freedom Ship in order to draw attention to Abdullah Öcalan’s situation. As a film producer, Argentieri also recorded the action with her video camera.
JinNews spoke with Italian producer and journalist Benedetta Argentieri about the aims of her actions and Öcalan’s ideas.
She first became acquainted with the Kurdish Freedom Movement and Öcalan’s ideas in 1999.
“It was when he was arrested, and I remember various actions across Europe. But it was actually about ten years later that I really began to take an interest in his ideas. The change of the paradigm of the movement and Öcalan’s suggestions for democratic society not just for the Middle East, but for all capitalist societies, influenced me a lot. It is a real alternative to the system. As I said, I visited Rojava and other places where it is possible to see Democratic Confederalism in practice.”
Argentieri criticises the conditions of isolation under which Öcalan is held.
“Turkey is in violation of numerous international conventions. We know that he has been unable to see his lawyers for a long time, and the same applies to his family. We should also remember all the other political prisoners, who are held under very harsh conditions in Turkey. We are talking about thousands of people who are stripped of their freedom just because of their ideas.”
A number of municipal councils in Argentieri’s country, Italy, have granted Öcalan honorary citizenship.
“Numerous municipal councils have granted honorary citizenship to Abdullah Öcalan, Naples and Palermo are among these. There is a strong solidarity movement in Italy, and for this reason, I can say that Öcalan is quite well-known,” she said, and finished off by saying:
“The ideas of Öcalan have given millions across the world inspiration, in the true sense of the word. His proposal of Democratic Confederalism may be a real alternative to the existing system, which is collapsing. It is important that he should be free because he is a symbol not just for the Kurds, but for all who hold certain values. Before him there was Nelson Mandela, who was held in prison for over 20 years and accused of being a terrorist just for demanding freedom for his people. Now the time has come for Öcalan to be released.”