The Many Layers of Moral Outrage

Kurdish Activists and Diaspora Politics

in Conflict and Society
View More View Less
  • 1 Fafo Research Foundation nerina.weiss@fafo.no
Restricted access

Abstract

This article takes the expressions of moral outrage in an illegal demonstration in Norway as a point of entry to explore how the political unfolds in Kurdish diasporic spaces. The premise for this analysis is that moral outrage among pro-Kurdish activists is an enduring, intergenerational process, the expression of which displays a multitemporality and multidirectionality. In order to explore the many layers of moral outrage this article proposes an analysis along the literature of political ritual and performance, which focuses on signification, symbolism, identity constructions, and the importance of audiences. I argue that Kurdish activists consciously perform their moral outrage to position themselves in relation to their host country, other Kurdish activists in Norway, and the larger transnational Kurdish community in Europe. As such, moral outrage turns out to be central in the enactment of Kurdish diaspora politics.

Contributor Notes

NERINA WEISS is Senior Researcher at the Fafo Research Foundation. She received her PhD in social anthropology from the University of Oslo in 2012 and worked as a Marie Curie IE Fellow at DIGNITY (Danish Institute against Torture) from 2011 to 2013. She has published on radicalization, political violence, migration, gender, as well as torture and trauma. Regionally, she has worked in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, with extensive fieldwork experience from Cyprus and eastern Turkey, as well as from Denmark, Norway, and Austria. Email: nerina.weiss@fafo.no

Conflict and Society

Advances in Research

  • AFP, A. F.-P. 2018. “Syrian Kurds outraged over mutilation of female fighter.The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/02/syrian-kurds-outraged-over-mutilation-of-female-fighter.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Alinia, M., Ö. Wahlbeck, B. Eliassi, and K. Khayati. 2014. “The Kurdish Diaspora: Transnational Ties, Home, and Politics of BelongingNordic Journal of Migration Research 4 (2):5356.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ANF. 2016. “KCDK-E Amed için alanlara çağirdi [KCDK-E calls to take to the streets for Diyarbakir].ANF News. https://anfturkce.net/guncel/kcdk-e-amed-icin-alanlara-cagirdi-80012.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arti Eksi 7 Londra. 2016. “Londra’da Kisanak ve Anli icin protesto [Protest for Kisanak and Anli in London].” Video, 3:27. Posted 28 October. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Keh23Txwfsw.

    • Export Citation
  • Assmann, J. 1992. Das kulturelle Gedächtnis: Schrift, Erinnerung und politische Identität in frühen Hochkulturen. München: C. H. Beck.

  • Baser, B. 2017. “Tailoring Strategies According to Ever-Changing Dynamics: The Evolving Image of the Kurdish Diaspora in Germany.Terrorism and Political Violence 29 (4):674691.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bateson, G. 1972. Steps into an Ecology of Mind. New York: Chandler Publishing.

  • BIA News Desk. 2016. “HDP, DBP’s call for solidarity with Kisanak, Anli banned by government.BIANET. http://bianet.org/english/human-rights/179989-hdp-dbp-s-call-for-solidarity-with-kisanak-anli-banned-by-governorship.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Butler, J. 1997. Excitable Speech: a Politics of the Performative. New York: Routledge.

  • Butler, J. 2015. Notes Toward a performative Theory of Assembly. Cambridge, London: Harvard University Press.

  • Cohen, S. 2001. States of Denial: Knowing about Atrocities and Suffering. Malden: Blackwell.

  • Csáky, M., and P. Stachel, eds. 2002. Mehrdeutigkeit. Die Ambivalenz von Gedächnis und Erinnerung. Wien: Passagen.

  • Eleftheriou-Smith, L.-M. 2016. “President Erdoğan wants to change definition of ‘terrorist’ to include journalists and politicians.Independent,16 March 2016. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/turkey-s-president-Erdoğan-wants-definition-of-terrorist-to-include-journalists-as-three-academics-a6933881.html.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Eliassi, B. 2013. Contesting Kurdish identities in Sweden: quest for belonging among Middle Eastern youth. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Etkin Haber Ajansi. 2016. “Kişanak ve Anli için Avrupa’da protestolar sürüyor.Avrupa Forum. http://avrupaforum.org/kisanak-anli-icin-avrupada-protestolar-suruyor/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gambetti, Z., and A. Berktay. 2015. Military curfews, firebombs, airstrikes and shattered peace deal: Is Turkey on bring of civil war? Democracy Now. https://www.democracynow.org/2015/9/11/military_curfews_firebombings_airstrikes_shattered_peace.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Geisler, M. E., ed. 2005. National Symbols, Fractured Identities: Contesting the National Narrative. London: Middlebury College Press.

  • Goodenough, W. H. 1997. “Moral Outrage: Territoriality in Human Guise.Zygon® 32 (1):527.

  • Guattari, F. 1995. Chaosmosis: An Ethico-aesthetic Paradigm. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

  • Hage, G. 2009. “Hating Israel in the Field.Anthropological Theory 9 (1):5979.

  • Hall, R. 2014. “Kurdish women join PKK in droves to fight the Islamic State.” Ekurd Daily, 24.12.2014. https://ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2014/12/turkey5277.htm.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hassanpour, A. 1998. “Satellite Footprints as National Borders: MED-TV and the Extraterritoriality of State Sovereignty.Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 18 (1):5372.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Heidegger, M. 1962. Being and time, Sein und Zeit. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

  • Hessel, S. 2011. “Indigne-vous!The Nation, 1519.

  • Jasper, J. M. 1997. The art of moral protest: culture, biography, and creativity in social movements. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jwaideh, W. 2006 [1958]. Kurdish National Movement: Its Origins and Development. New York: Syracuse University Press.

  • Kapferer, B. 2005. “Ritual dynamics and virtual practice: beyond representation and meaning.” In Rituals in its Own Right: Exploring the Dynamics of Transformation, edited by Dan Handelman and Galina Lindquist, 3554. Oxford: Berghahn.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kapferer, B., and A. Hobart. 2005. “Introduction: the aesthetics of symbolic construction and experience.” In Aesthetics in Performance: Formations of Symbolic Constructions and Experience, edited by Angela Hobart and Bruce Kapferer, 122. Oxford: Berghahn Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kurdish Institute. 2017. “Belgian court has ruled that the PKK is not a terrorist organisation - KNK press release.http://www.kurdishinstitute.be/belgian-court-has-ruled-that-the-pkk-is-not-a-terrorist-organisation-knk-press-release/.

    • Export Citation
  • Krøijer, S. 2015. Figurations of the Future. Forms and temporalities of left radical politics in northern Europe. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lazar, S. 2015. ““This Is Not a Parade, It’s a Protest March”: Intertextuality, Citation, and Political Action on the Streets of Bolivia and Argentina.American Anthropologist 117 (2):242256.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mango, A. 2005. Turkey and the War on Terror: For Forty Years We Fought Alone. London: Routledge.

  • Manoukian, S. 2010. “Where Is This Place? Crowds, Audio-vision, and Poetry in Postelection Iran.Public Culture 22 (2):237263.

  • McDowall, D. 1992. The Kurds: A Nation Denied. Edited by Minority Rights Group: Minority Rights Publications.

  • McGee, T. 2016. “Mapping action and identity in the Kobani crisis response.Kurdish Studies 4 (1):5177.

  • McGee, T. 2018. “Saving the survivors: Yezidi women, Islamic State and the German Admissions Programme.Kurdish Studies 6 (1):85109.

  • Peters, M. A. 2012. “Anger and Political Culture: A Time for Outrage!Policy Futures in Education 10 (5):563568.

  • Razsa, M. 2014. “Beyond ‘Riot Porn’: protest video and the production of unruly subjects.Ethnos 79 (4):496524.

  • Reed, J.-P 2004. “Emotions in context: Revolutionary accelerators, hope, moral outrage, and other emotions in the making of Nicaragua’s revolution.Renewal and Critique in Social Theory 33 (6): 653703.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Romania, V., and S. Tozzo. 2017. “Terrorism as Ritual Process and Cultural Trauma: a Performative Analysis of ISIS’s Attacks in Europe.Italian Sociological Review 7 (2):239261.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Scheff, T. 1994. “Emotions and identity: a theory of ethnic nationalism.” In Social Theory and the POlitics of Identity, edited by Craig Calhoun. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schieffelin, E. L. 1998. “Problematizing performance.” In Ritual, Performance, Media, edited by Felicia Hughes-Freeland, 194207. London: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sjørslev, I. 2012. “The material subject as political: style and pointing in public performance.Anthropological Theory 12 (2):209228.

  • Smith, W. 2001. “National Symbols.” In Encyclopedia of Nationalism, edited by Alexander Motyl, 521530. San Diego: Harcourt.

  • Soguk, N. 2008. “Transversal communication, diaspora, and the Euro-Kurds.Review of International Studies 34:173192.

  • Strathern, M. 1988. The Gender of the Gift. Berkley: University of California Press.

  • TIHV. 2017. “Curfews in Turkey Between the Dates 16 August 2015 - 1 June 2017.http://en.tihv.org.tr/curfews-in-turkey-between-the-dates-16-august-2015-1-june-2017/.

    • Export Citation
  • TIHV. 2018. Curfews in Turkey Between 16 August 2015 - 1 June 2018. Ankara.

  • Watts, N. F. 2006. “Activists in office: pro-Kurdish contentious politics in Turkey.Ethnopolitics 5 (2):125144.

  • Weiss, N. 2014. “The power of dead bodies.” In Histories of Victimhood, edited by Steffen Jensen and Henrik Rønsbo, 161178. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weiss, N. 2017. “De gode radikale i krig mot den islamske staten?” In Fremmedkrigere: Forebygging, straffeforfølgning og rehabilitering i Skandinavia edited by Anna Andersson, Sofie A. E. Høgestøl and Anne Christine Lie, 407431. Oslo: Gyldendal.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Werbner, P., M. Webb, and K. Spellman-Poots. 2014. The Political aesthetics of global protest : the Arab Spring and beyond. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Westmoreland, M. R. 2016. “Street Scenes: the politics of revolutionary video in Egypt.Visual Anthropology 29 (3):243262.

  • Zaman, A. 2016. “Turkey arrest Kurdish mayors in Diyarbakir.Al Monitor. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/en/originals/2016/10/turkey-arrest-mayors-diyarbakir-kurdish.html.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 68 68 25
Full Text Views 20 20 2
PDF Downloads 24 24 0