Transformative Solidarity in Times of Subaerial Warfare From the Caucasus to the Levant

Published

A few months after the Turkish-backed Azeri invasion of Artsakh, we wanted to reflect on the question of solidarity with the Armenian people, or the lack thereof. Panos Aprahamian and Jessika Khazrik ask what does this solidarity look like for those whose “subaerial” sky is filled with the same terrifying sound of Israeli-built drones in Gaza, Beirut, Artsakh, and Armenia.

At the advent of the past century, as most of our territories were being reconfigured into the exclusionary order of the nation-state, millions of our ancestors were pogrommed from home. Our Armenian ancestors native to Eastern Anatolia, the Southern Caucasus, and Iranian Azerbaijan, found themselves divided between three regional empires (Ottoman, Persian, and Russian) while facing the greatest systematic extermination campaign in our tragic history. Concurrently, in Seyfo or Assyrian Genocide, our Chaldean ancestors, Assyrian, and Aramean neighbors, indigenous to Eastern Anatolia, Upper Mesopotamia and Northwestern Iran, and in the Anatolian Greek Genocide, our Ottoman and Pontic Greek neighbors native to Anatolia, faced systematic extermination through genocide and rape. Their houses, communal spaces, and immovables were plundered and destroyed in order to prevent any possible return.

Time and time again and with every manned displacement, we have learned that borders emerge out of the invasive and taxonomic (dis-)order of war. While searching for a transformative solidarity with the power to disrupt, we continue to witness and re-learn how war is not a sudden and temporary paroxysm of violence that begins and ends within a finite period of time. War cannot be but inherently toxic and extremely high-cost. It stays and seeps into our everyday environment, economy, infrastructure, and techno-politics. As we face today, through capitalism’s ecocidal practices, the threat of genocide on a planetary-scale, the dispossessive mechanisms of genocide and ecocide, experienced through war and its extractivist incentives and devastations, continue to loom over our communities.