Activity 10: Case Study Role Player (Rojava/Umoja)

1 hour


To help us to:

  • Understand the particular context, strategies, political rethinking and political imaginations of case studies
  • Understand Rojava as a complex expression of democratic municipalism and Umoja as a nascent case of popular power and organizing autonomously outside the state and outside patriarchal society
  • Critically assess the usefulness of these case studies for thinking about radically imagined futures
  • To radically imagine different contexts and expressions of democracy

Task 1

It’s showtime! A touring group of diverse actors (media crew – journalists and photographers) are visiting Rojava, in North Eastern Syria and the women’s village of Umoja in the Samburu region of Kenya to investigate the viability of radical localism in politics today.

You will be divided into two big groups of locals. Each group is expected to prepare a skit using the props provided. Each group will receive a pack with a fact sheet and a short clip. The fact sheet consists of five paragraphs contextualizing the case study, highlighting the context, the economy, the role of women as well as the nature of power. The video clip are visual resources to help you to immerse yourselves in the context.

Group 1

You will focus on Rojava. The resources for your group are as follows:

In the Heart of Syria’s Darkness, a Democratic, Egalitarian and Feminist Society Emerges


Group 2

You will focus on Umoja – a women’s village in the Samburu region of Kenya. The resources for your group are as follows:

The village where men are banned


The groups have 20 minutes for research, 20 minutes for preparation and 10 minutes to enact the role play.

The “state” (facilitators) will visit to assess the performances and draw out questions about the context not addressed by the performance.

Task 2

In order to make sense of the case studies and concepts introduced in this session and to assess what local popular power offers us in our struggles for freedom, we will have a discussion around these two questions:

What do these examples of local popular power offer us in our struggles for freedom and democracy?

What about these examples of local popular power should we take forward into the future? What should we discard?

We will have 40 minutes for this task

Please refer to the reading pack for:

Shilton, D. In the Heart of Syria’s Darkness, a democratic, egalitarian and feminist society emerges.

Bindel. J. The Village Where Men are Banned. The Guardian.


Last updated December 15, 2019 5:33 pm