Ajam’s Mehelle: Recording Everyday Life in Endangered Neighborhoods

Ajam Media Collective has created Mehelle— a new project dedicated to preserving the sights, sounds, and memories of rapidly-changing neighborhoods from Eastern Anatolia to Central Asia. It will serve as a multimedia resource for local inhabitants, community organizers, and urban researchers long after such neighborhoods have been demolished, gentrified, or transformed by private and state-led construction projects.
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Narges Bajoghli on Paramilitary Cultural Producers of the Iran-Iraq War

In another installment of the Emerging Scholarship series, Narges Bajoghli talks about Paramilitary Media during and after the Iran-Iraq War. Bajoghli explains the rise of war veteran filmmakers who have produced alternative narratives about the eight-year conflict in order to better communicate the “truth of war” to a younger generation of Iranians.
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Artifacts: the Paykan

The Paykan, like many of its drivers, has survived the tumult of revolution, war, reconstruction, and economic crises. The resilience of the Paykan mirrors that of 20th and 21st Century Iran, which can explain why it still endures not only as functional car, but also as a symbol of collective experiences and an object of nostalgia.
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Goodbye Lenin, Hello Timur: The Evolution of National Monuments in Uzbekistan’s Capital City

National monuments in the Uzbek public sphere are often viewed as indicators of A concerted effort to break from Russian historiography and establish counter-narratives predating both Tsarist imperialism and the Soviet experience. However, if one carefully examines 20th century mechanisms of control in Central Asia, it is clear that Uzbek strategies to resignify historical and literary figures are derived from Soviet historiography.
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Landmarks, Heritage, and Sites of Remembrance: The Armenian Churches of Iranian Azerbaijan

As UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran act as a celebration of the past, but not an examination of it. One may ask: where are the Armenians who lived here, if only their buildings remain? As landmarks are indoctrinated into the cult of heritage, we are able to consecrate something that speaks to cosmopolitanism without actually having to live it, or ask the question why the past no longer resembles the present.
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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…
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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.
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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.
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