Arash, Melody, & Transnational Youth Identity

Transnational Iranian youth identity today has rather tenuous bonds, a fact lamented by elders who point to language, religion, or various other arbitrary markers of communitarian affiliation to re-affirm their fears of cultural decay. Despite this, a few notable bonds remain. Re-appropriation of Zoroastrian symbols for questionable nationalistic and ethnic aims is one of these bonds. The other, perhaps even stronger bond, is Swedish-Iranian superstar Arash.

His latest video, Melody, doesn’t disappoint. Moving past the troublesome Orientalism of a number of his videos and the brazen exploitation of blonde, female [Russian] sexuality in his others, Arash ventures back into “Iran, Iran” territory but with a much subtler commentary on contemporary youth Iranian identity.

The video is the result of a call for video submissions from around the world; due to his immense popularity among Iranians in Iran as well as in the Diaspora, the clip is a testament to a transnational, postmodern identity being forged by Iranian youth- all united in their love of cheesy Euro-pop, if nothing else.

A few highlights: DJ Alligator belting it, a motorcyclist in Tehran serenading the camera, and a few famous faces making an appearance.

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