In a time when institutionalized racism and police brutality against Black Americans are a matter of widespread national protest and debate, what does it mean that Iranian-American audiences are laughing at a blackface performance put on by a supposedly race-conscious director?
Ajam Media Collective has created Mehelle— a new project dedicated to preserving the sights, sounds, and memories of rapidly-changing neighborhoods from Eastern Anatolia to Central Asia. It will serve as a multimedia resource for local inhabitants, community organizers, and urban researchers long after such neighborhoods have been demolished, gentrified, or transformed by private and state-led construction projects.
In the second installment of our collaborative podcast series with Ottoman History Podcast, Christ Gratien and Tyler Conklin speak with Julie Stephens about the controversial publication of the Ranglia Rasool in the 1920s.
Ali David Sonboly saw himself as a German; the general public seems to disagree. 11 interviews with members of Munich’s Iranian diaspora community suggest that so-called “German-Iranians” do not simply see themselves as a hyphenated identity but rather have various individual concepts thereof.
Shahrzad, a historical series directed by Hassan Fathi, reveals how the 1953 Coup is still the site of competing historiographical narratives.
Los Angeles is the capital of the Iranian diaspora, home to at least 700,000 Iranian-Americans and an Iranian culture industry that makes its presence known worldwide. Here’s your guide to visiting Tehrangeles. Continue reading
Bombay’s history is woven around tales of cosmopolitanism. But while the grandiose architecture of the colonial city gets all the attention, the vernacular architecture built by the cosmopolitanism from below in the so-called “Native Town” nearby is too often overlooked. Continue reading
If Sayat Nova wrote hundreds of songs in Armenian, Azeri, and Georgian, then why are the cross-cultural celebrations of Sayat Nova so few and far between? Gaps in the historical record and contemporary political environment make a pancultural perspective of the legendary bard of the Caucasus more difficult. Continue reading
Ahmad Muxtar’s Red Frame not only documents Baku’s rapid urban transformation, but also explores the ways our perceptions of urban space are framed by social, political, and economic forces. Continue reading
The presence of Afghan refugees in Iran as mercenary troops for Assad’s counterinsurgency complicates present understandings of the foreign fighter, often affiliated with the catch-all figure of the jihadi. (Photo Credit: Mujtaba Jalali) Continue reading
With more and more tourists visiting Iran every day, Ajam and See You In Iran have teamed up to bring you a travel series to Iran’s diverse cities. This first installation focuses on the vibrant urban life of Tehran, Iran’s largest city and capital. Continue reading
Using materials from the Ajam Digital Archive, Narges Bajoghli recounts the experiences of Iran-Iraq War veterans who spent endless days during their youth fighting in close combat in dark and bloody trenches. Continue reading
Perhaps the most widely known among these is the ceremonial spread called the Khan-e Nowruz or the Haft Chin. It features a variety of objects that symbolize key figures and values of Zoroastrian cosmology. The arrangement of this spread — or most of its elements — has historically emerged as a cultural practice shared among numerous peoples across West Asia, the Caucasus, and India. Continue reading
Turkey’s Game of Thrones mania is due to one college student. He goes by the Twitter handle of @esekherif_. Continue reading
The Hrant Drink Foundation had undertaken the massive assignment of mapping hundreds of properties owned by the Armenian, Jewish, Greek and Syriac/Assyrian communities before the Genocide. Continue reading
In the first installment of our ongoing collaboration with Ottoman History Podcast, Chris Gratien talks to Saghar Sadeghian about the role of Non-Muslims in the Iranian Constitutional Movement. Continue reading
Celebrated from Eastern Anatolia to the western parts of China, diverse communities claim Nowruz as their own New Year’s holiday. While many recognize that Nowruz, which coincides with the Spring Equinox, has roots in Zoroastrianism, very few know how Zoroastrians celebrate this holiday in parts of Iran today. Continue reading
In the southern Indian port city of Kochi, millennia of merchant cosmopolitanism have contributed to the growth of a diverse and syncretic culture that combines faiths, practices, and forms from across the Indian Ocean rim. The history of Syriac Christianity and Sephardic Judaism in the region offer a unique perspective on Kerala’s historic relationship with the Middle East. Continue reading
A review of Ajam Media Collective and Cine-Eye’s curated film series, “Rethinking Iranian Cinema: Aesthetics and Counternarratives.” Continue reading
The fact that Iranians talk about brain drain as if it was a uniquely huge Iranian problem suggests that brain drain is a proxy for their anxieties about the state of the country, rather than actual empirical evaluation of the country’s migration. (Image Credit: Alireza Darvish) Continue reading