This tag is associated with 15 posts

Çanakkale Belongs to the People: Reclaiming and Reusing Urban Heritage in 21st-Century Turkey

Turkey may be perceived, both by outside observers and by Turks, to be an authoritarian democracy fueled by a construction boom. This is not entirely unfair, but this particular city of 116,000 on the Dardanelles is either the exception that proves the rule or a new way forward, as its citizens struggle and more often than not succeed to keep their city unique. Continue reading »

گرافیتی به سبک ایرانی: آثار قلمدار، هنرمند خیابانی تهران‌

گروه رسانه‌ی عجم از سال 1392 تاکنون مجموعه مقاله‌هایی درباره‌ی هنرهای تجسمی ایرانیان داخل و خارج کشور نوشته و نمایشگاه‌های هنری نیویورک، هنرمندان خیابانی تهران و برنامه‌ی زیباسازی شهرداری مشهد را پوشش داده است. در این نوشتار، یکی از سردبیران ارشد عجم، راستین زرکار، با قلمدار، هنرمند ساکن تهران، به گفتگو نشسته تا درباره‌ی وضع … Continue reading »

Armenia’s Bangladesh: Portrait of a Yerevan Suburb

Never having visited the Republic of Bangladesh, my reflections are probably missing a certain something. Nevertheless I began to ask about the suburb’s unofficial name. “Why is it called Bangladesh?” mimicked a colleague, incredulous. “Because it’s hot, poor, far away, and nobody knows much about it.” Continue reading »

Making Graffiti an Iranian Art: The Works of Tehran-based Street Artist Ghalamdar

The work of Tehran-based street artist Ghalamdar exemplifies a new direction in Iranian street art. While the majority of artists operating in Iran are heavily influenced by motifs and techniques popularized outside of Iran, Ghalamdar is inspired by endemic calligraphic styles and miniature paintings that have been the primary targets for 20th century modernist art. In several conversations with AjamMC, the artist discussed how Iranian visual and literary culture influenced his work and how dominant trends in Iranian street art have solidified. Continue reading »

Becoming a Post-Soviet City: Social Housing and Urban Planning in Yerevan

Since gaining independence, Yerevan has been subjected to a complex process of postcolonial nation-building while simultaneously adopting globalized urbanization trends. Similar to many other gentrifying cities, demolition and displacement are becoming more and more a common practice. New multinational construction projects are presented and justified as acts of nation-building while the low income majority is expected by the emerging elite to make sacrifices for the benefit of the nation as a whole. Continue reading »

A Mural Erased: Urban Art, Local Politics, and the Contestation of Public Space in Mashhad

Municipal politics around beautification programs reveal the complexity of governance in Iran and shatter illusions about the monolithic nature of the Iranian state. By exploring how local actors express often-contradictory opinions about the nature and future of Iranian cities, a fuller picture of modern life and politics in Iran emerges — one that highlights the diffuse nature of power and local decision-making in the Islamic Republic. Continue reading »

A Fashionable Revolution: Veiling, Morality, and Consumer Culture in Iran

The everyday practice of the mandatory veil has indeed been noticeably shifting ever since the first generation of women who were born after the 1979 Revolution came of age in the mid-1990’s. This kind of fascination with Iranian women and their sense of dress, however, obscures the complexities surrounding how Iranian women actually practice the mandatory veil. These articles produce simplistic generalizations by treating women’s bodily surfaces as a measure of societal progress and morality; romanticizing the notion of resistance; and eliding the significance of class and consumer culture in everyday urban life. Continue reading »

Whose Anatolia? Mapping Complexities and Shared Histories Between Kurds, Armenians, and Turks

There are mountains and there are roads. From an airplane, Eastern Anatolia looks like Frankenstein’s monster as the craggy mountains of the Zargos, Tarsus, and Caucasus ranges collide with geologic logic, sutured together by some of the finest roadways in the world. The modern republics facing this jagged jumble are as powerful as that monster, but perhaps also as hollow. Continue reading »

Constructing Sacred Space: An Architectural History of Mashhad’s Imam Reza Shrine

Like the city itself, the Imam Reza shrine complex grew gradually over time as political elites tried to establish their legitimacy. Rulers strove not only to appease the local religious establishment by funding elaborate building projects around the site, but also hoped to create physical testaments to their political authority. Due to the inherent political nature of these structures, the site was destroyed and subsequently rebuilt as it changed hands from dynasty to dynasty. 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 »