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Iranian Diaspora

This tag is associated with 10 posts

From Tehran to Newcastle: “I Am Nasrine” and the Politics of Telling Migrant Narratives

I am Nasrine is the tale of two Iranian siblings who migrate to England and find a world of rampant discrimination that looks little like what they expected. The tragedy of the film is not one that can be easily limited to English housing estates or the plight of Iranian emigres. Indeed, this tale of migrant survival and struggle is far more universal, a searing indictment of the limits of liberalism and the failure of international and local humanitarian bureaucracies — as well as receiving societies as a whole — to effectively understand migrants as complex human beings. Continue reading »

Filming America 1979: Iranian-American Memories of the Year Our Lives Turned Upside Down

For those of us who did not experience the trauma of 1979 and the years that followed, our parents’ memories and stories have been largely inaccessible to us. The era’s legacy is primarily one of silence; Iranian-Americans have largely ignored their personal traumas and tried to move on with their lives, throwing themselves completely into the American dream and struggling to put the years of alienation behind them. Lila Yomtoob is an Iranian-American filmmaker whose latest project is entitled America 1979 and explores the experiences of an American family of Iranian heritage during the Iran Hostage Crisis. Continue reading »

Ask Iran: Independent Cartoons and Graphic Novels Highlight A Nation Beyond Stereotypes

By showcasing Iran’s culture, history, and supposed ‘personality,’ Ask Iran is adding to the conversation by giving the Iranian people a voice needed during a time when sanctions are exacting a heavy price on Iranians and there is an ever-present fear of war. Her discourse is an extremely important contribution to the dialogue on Iran in the face of ‘othering,’ which is in line with Orientalist stereotypes of the Iranian people as being angry, backwards, and terrorists. Continue reading »

“This Place Should Have Been Iran”: Iranian Imaginings in/of Dubai

It is precisely the position between an Iran back home and an Iran abroad, or Iran’s present circumstances and possible future, which informs the sense of displacement so widely shared among Iranian expatriates here. For many Iranians, Dubai’s emergence as a global metropolis is imagined to have resulted, more specifically, from the displacement of Iranian modernity. Continue reading »

A Nowruz Dedicated to the Iraqi People, 10 Years Later

Iranian-American reflections on the meaning of Nowruz, 10 years after the invasion of Iraq. May we all be inspired this year again by the rebirth and resilience of nature and of love that Nowruz signifies, and may we be reminded of the need to live freely, honorably, and bravely as the ongoing Iraqi struggle for liberation inspires us to do. Continue reading »

On the Sanctions Against Iran: Reflections from a Child of the Iran-Iraq War

A guest post by Shahrzad Noorbaloochi, an Iranian-American activist. There is a history that echoes and scratches within my blood. It tells stories of the suffering of my mother, my father, my sisters, my uncles, aunts and their grandparents. It is a story of suffering, sacrifices, resilience and solidarity. Often, I am fooled by the … Continue reading »

A Young Diaspora Raises its Voice: Creating Iranian Alliances Across Borders

A guest post by Amy Malek, a board member and conference director of Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB). In 2002, a group of Iranian-American students studying abroad made a wild and exaggerated observation: Iranians are everywhere. Of course, we didn’t mean on TV or in the movies. We meant that all of a sudden, Iranians seemed … Continue reading »

How Good Is Arash's Persian? The Politics of Language & Identity in Diaspora Iranian Pop Music

A guest post by Kamyar Jarahzadeh, a student at UC Berkeley focusing on migration and forced migration in Turkey and the Middle East. Like the modern music of most cultures, a survey of the modern Iranian pop scene would produce a pretty standard variety of artists and genres. The Iranian music video (“Clip”) shows that broadcast … Continue reading »

The Treacherous Territory of Ta’arof

As a student (and sometimes teacher) of foreign languages, I can attest to the difficulties that learners face in pursuit of that most elusive of second (third, fourth, fifth) language acquisition goals: sociolinguistic competence. Sociolinguistic competence, or the ability to use the appropriate linguistic skills (such as register) to negotiate social situations without causing offense … Continue reading »

Chicago’s Siskel Film Center holds 22nd Annual Festival of Films from Iran

October in Chicago was a good time for fans of Iranian cinema. The Siskel Film Center hosted the 22nd Annual Festival of Films from Iran, a month-long event dedicated to showing the latest output from both the who’s-who (Dariush Mehrjui) and the up-and-comers (Maryam Keshavarz) in the world of Iranian filmmaking. This year’s roster boasted … Continue reading »