YPJ graffiti in Vienna on the Rojava Revolutionary anniversary

Andrea Btoy painted the picture of a YPJ fighter on a wall of a house in Vienna on the anniversary of the Rojava revolution. The artist says: "International solidarity is important, that's why the Kurdish movement and Rojava are important to me."

Catalan painter Andrea Michaelsson Btoy has travelled to Vienna for a week-long exhibition. To mark the anniversary of the beginning of the Rojava revolution eight years ago, she painted the picture of a YPJ fighter on a wall intended for artists.

Under the graffiti Btoy wrote "Jin, Jiyan, Azadî" [Woman, Life, Freedom]. She dedicates the picture to all Kurdish women who fight for a free Kurdistan and against the male-dominant mindset. The revolution in Rojava is no longer a purely Kurdish affair, she says. It has become a symbol for the struggle of all oppressed people worldwide: "And through my works I show solidarity with this revolution. I will continue to do so."

Btoy has been invited from Barcelona to an art festival in Vienna. "At the festival I was to do some graffiti. I wanted to paint a Kurdish fighter on this wall out of solidarity with the Kurdish people and the revolution in Rojava. It was the anniversary of the revolution and I took this opportunity to paint the picture."

When asked why she chose a Kurdish fighter and the words " Woman, Life, Freedom", Btoy answers: "Before the festival, I participated in a meeting of the anarchist trade union CNT in Catalonia, where I learned a lot about the Kurdish movement, the women's movement, the revolution of Rojava, the women's collective Jinwar and the struggle. I have been following the developments for a few years and keeping myself informed. The revolution in Rojava has fascinated me from the beginning."