New World Embassy: Rojava
26-27 November 2016
Oslo City Hall, Norway
Besides large-scale summits, the New World Summit also develops embassies in collaboration with stateless states, autonomist groups, and blacklisted political organizations, entitled New World Embassies. The second edition, titled New World Embassy: Rojava, was a temporary embassy constructed in the Oslo City Hall, which represented, through cultural means, the ideals of “stateless democracy” as developed by the Democratic Self-Administration of Rojava (northern Syria).
The embassy consisted of a large-scale, oval shaped architectural structure, designed as an “ideological planetarium,” departing from the universalist symbols of different political organizations in the Democratic Self-Administration of Rojava. Instead of orienting on traditional notions of statehood, the project took the shape of a stateless embassy for a stateless democracy: aiming to contribute to a transdemocratic politics beyond the traditional boundaries of the nation-state.
The Embassy operated for two consecutive days bringing representatives from Rojava together with international politicians, diplomats, academics, journalists, students, and artists, with contributions by co-ambassadors Asya Abdullah (Co-Chair of the Democratic Union Party, PYD), Sînem Mohammed (European Representative of the Democratic Self-Administration of Rojava), Salih Muslim (Co-Chair of the Democratic Union Party, PYD), Bassam Said Ishak (President of the Syriac National Council, SNC), and Aldar Xalîl (Executive Council Member of the Movement for a Democratic Society, Tev-Dem) as well as by Moussa Ag Assarid (Free Azawad), Kate Shea Baird (Barcelona en Comú), Macer Gifford (People’s Protection Units, YPG), Hanne Sophie Greve (Judge at the Gulating High Court of Western Norway, and former judge at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg), Despina Koutsoumba (The Front of the Greek Anticapitalist Left, ANTARSYA), Lorenzo Marsili (DiEM25 / European Alternatives), Katerin Mendez (Feminist Initiative!), Runar Myrnes Balto (Sámi Parliament), Laura Raicovich (Queens Museum), Shela Sheikh (Goldsmiths, University of London), Sana Soleman Elmansouri (Amazigh World Congress), Kariane Westrheim (University of Bergen). The Embassy was inaugurated by Marianne Borgen (Mayor of the City of Oslo), Seher Aydar (Solidarity with Kurdistan) and Refik Gefur (Kurdish National Congress, KNK), and chaired by Joost Jongerden (University of Wageningen), Maria Hlavajova (BAK, basis voor actuele kunst Utrecht), and Radha D’Souza (Westminster University)