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Afghanistan

This tag is associated with 11 posts

Curtains of Iron or Curtains of Silk? Soviet Artwork in Conversation with West and South Asia

The post-Soviet art of Central Asia and the Caucasus comes out of a Soviet-era conversation of artistic styles that looks not just to Moscow but also to Mecca. An understanding of the high and low registers of this Soviet cultural heritage allows the humor and self-confidence of the work to be appreciated — aesthetically as well as financially — by audiences. Continue reading »

The King Hasn’t Left The Building: An Oral History of an Afghan Musical Icon, Ahmad Zahir

Ahmad Zahir, the major Afghan pop singer of the 1970s, died mysteriously in 1979, a year of upheaval and turmoil in Afghanistan’s political history. Since then, many Afghans, in diaspora and in Afghanistan, maintain a special relationship with Ahmad Zahir and his music. This article explores the memory of one family in using Ahmad Zahir as a way to connect to their homeland. Continue reading »

Ajam Mixtape #3: Sounds of Nowruz

The Ajam Family would like to wish you all a very happy Nowruz and spring season. Enjoy this podcast, which collects the sounds of festivities from the different parts of the world that celebrate this joyous day. Continue reading »

Ajam Mixtape #2: Psychedelic Sounds from Iran and Beyond

This mix attempts to break away from looking at psychedelic rock as a Manichean battlefield between “eastern” and “western” sounds and instead, showcases how this genre allowed Iranian artists to engage in musical conversations with Western music, local sounds, and the sounds of neighboring countries. Thus, psychadelic music, which itself emerged from the interactions between young Western artists and Indian Classical Music, served as a platform for Iranian artists to inventively experiment as well. Continue reading »

Do you Ajam? Call for Editors

Ajam is looking to add Regional Editors to our team, with the intention of broadening our coverage and improving our analysis across the region. Applications due March 3, 2013! Continue reading »

Overland from Yerevan to Kabul: Trekking the Villages and Valleys of the Wakhan Corridor

Guest writer Felix de Rosen last year traveled from Armenia to Afghanistan, passing through Iran and Tajikistan en route. This article is the third part in a series about his travels (first part in the Caspian foothills of Iran can be found here and second part in Western Afghanistan here). The village of Sarhad feels like the edge … Continue reading »

Afghans in Iran: Contradictory State Policies and a Grassroots Anti-Racist Movement

Part III of a series on Afghan refugees in Iran. Earlier this year, I begun a series highlighting the experiences of Afghan refugees in Iran. By focusing on cultural production, particularly film and literature, I wished to elucidate the conditions of 2-3 million individuals making a living away from their war-torn homeland as well as … Continue reading »

Overland from Yerevan to Kabul: Between Poets, Saints, and Madmen in Northern Afghanistan

Guest writer Felix de Rosen last year traveled from Armenia to Afghanistan, passing through Iran and Tajikistan en route. This article is the second part in a series about his travels (First part can be found here). The sun was up. After a night of cool, fresh temperatures, I feared the sun; it would not … Continue reading »

Far From Home: Portrayals of the Afghan Refugee in Iranian Cinema

Part II of a series on Afghan Refugees in Iran. Earlier this month, I completed a post discussing how works of literature from prominent Afghan writers voiced the conditions of millions of undocumented Afghan refugees residing in Iran. These members of the Afghan diaspora have been able to draw upon their own personal accounts as … Continue reading »

Afghan Diasporic Literature: A Refugee Narrative from the Heart of Urban Tehran

Part I of a series on Afghan refugees in Iran. Iran is a culturally heterogeneous society that has been shaped by waves of migration over many centuries. While much of the domestic political and academic rhetoric chooses to highlight Iran’s resistance to foreign influence, the invaluable contributions of migrant communities have often been ignored or … Continue reading »