French Foreign Volunteers and the Kurdish Diaspora in France
France has a long history of political involvement in the Middle East, not only at the state level but also at the individual level. Furthermore, such socio-political involvements, international engagements, and other historical factors made France a vibrant international space for diasporic political activity in the middle of Europe. After the end of the Cold War, this international space was also filled with tremendous social changes along with major political contestations and debates, firstly with the triumph of neoliberalism and its respected globalization, and then with the digital revolution and the rise of new social media. In light of these novel transformations, my project, in general, examines why people choose to risk their lives and volunteer to be involved in seemingly someone else’s war and thus explores their and their families’ experiences both during the engagement and in its aftermath. In this endeavor, I am going to conduct ethnographic engagements and interviews with my interlocutors in France to understand how various solidarity networks have been built and operated across the diasporic spaces with particular attention to the minorities living in the Middle East. This project helps us illuminate how international solidarity has been transformed in the post-Cold War political landscape.