In celebration of the end of 2013 and the beginning of Ajam Media Collective’s third year, we offer you a list of the top 10 articles on our site published over the past year.
In 2013, we covered a wide variety of topics ranging from gender and sexuality politics in contemporary Iranian cinema to the attractions of Zionism to Iran’s pre-revolutionary elites, provoking a great deal of conversation along the way.
In accordance with Ajam Media Collective’s beloved critical discourse, two of our top articles reconsidered the histories of the Cyrus Cylinder and the Shahnameh — two major symbols of Persian nationalism — and their appropriation by political figures.
At the same time, we embraced a wider definition of Ajamistan than we had before, considering conflicting imaginaries of Dubai cosmopolitanism and examining the politics of language in Pakistani hip hop.
We moved away from rigid categories and re-contextualized narrow genres in global perspectives, looking at calli-graffiti, musical diasporas, and even cowboy Westerns. We also collaborated with Slavs and Tatars in an examination of transnational exchanges across borders through revolutionary art.
Our ability to cover such broad topics is largely due to Ajam’s own expansion. With four new regional editors, we produced more quality content on wider geographic terrain, from the Caucasus to the Persian Gulf to the Subcontinent.
Race politics were a major topic in our top 10 articles, as we examined the role of race and ethnicity in producing local musics within Iran as well as how the Iranian diaspora has negotiated the complexities of race hierarchy in the United States.
Check out this list of our most-read stories of 2013, and stay tuned for another great year ahead:
1. Queer and Trans Subjects in Iranian Cinema: Between Representation, Agency, and Orientalist Fantasies
2. Word As Image: Contextualizing “Calligraffiti: 1984-2013″ with French-Tunisian Street Artist eL Seed
8. Reconstructing a Persian Past: Contemporary Uses and Misuses of the Cyrus Cylinder in Iranian Nationalist Discourse
10. Pahlavi Iran and Zionism: An Intellectual Elite’s Short-Lived Love Affair with the State of Israel
We’re excited to continue Ajamming with you all in 2014. Thanks for all the support, and be sure to keep up with us in the new year!