The documentary below is brought to you by Ajam’s Mehelle project, an initiative dedicated to preserving the sights, sounds, and memories of rapidly-changing neighborhoods in Central Asia, Iran, and the…
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.
Ahmad Muxtar’s Red Frame not only documents Baku’s rapid urban transformation, but also explores the ways our perceptions of urban space are framed by social, political, and economic forces.
In another installment of the Emerging Scholarship series, Mikiya Koyagi talks about the construction of the Trans-Iranian Railroad and how it transformed conceptions of Iranian society.
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.
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.
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.
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.