Burcu Ozdemir Demir

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

New York, Graduate Center, City U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10440

Approve Date

October 11, 2022

Project Title

Ozdemir Demir, Burcu (New York, Graduate Center, City U. of) "Affective Ecologies: The Political Life of Water in Northern Kurdistan"

This project traces the political life of water in Turkish Kurdistan. It proposes to study how water infrastructures and river ecologies are coproduced in and through an ongoing war and the ways in which they bear and proliferate violence. With the escalation of the war between the PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) and the Turkish armed forces, the ecological destruction of Turkish Kurdistan through infrastructure projects became systematic. Reshaping the flow of rivers became an explicit tool for securing control and exerting power in Turkish Kurdistan. At the same time, water remained central to Kurdish attempts at unsettling state power and territorial politics, as has been reclaimed both as a Kurdish natural resource and as a sign of belonging and loss.With a specific attention to Tigris River, this project seeks to examine how war shapes and is shaped by the material sediments, embodied practices, and memories of the ecologies in Upper Tigris Valley. Taking the river both as an object and an actor in the unfolding of violent relations, it asks how water materializes as state’s power, as the terrain of uneven governance and as sign of belonging or loss in different moments in Turkish Kurdistan.