The items collected for the Ajam Digital Archive will allow us to document and record history from below—how it was actually lived, experienced, and understood. It is precisely these histories that were ignored in favor of tales that focused exclusively on wars and revolutions, rarely giving us a sense of how life was lived amidst it all.
This guest mix from Outtalectuals takes the Ajam mixtape series to new planes, both sonically and geographically. This mix came to fruition as an attempt to use the Ajam platform to show artists who are critically and uniquely engaging with music that is often cordoned off into the “world music” sphere. Instead, Outtalectuals takes these sounds as influences to deeply connect with, rather than cliches to reproduce and slightly modify.
These types of documentary ventures, both filmic and photographic, identify a racialized community as their subject, visibly recognizable by their visual characteristics. Despite this clear reliance on race, there is rarely much attention given to the issue of race itself. Instead, most tend to emphasize successful assimilation predicated on nationalist sentiments and champion the diversity of these communities. By ignoring race and its relationship to photography, we overlook crucial elements that have structured similar stories in the past.
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.
إن تاريخ وطبيعة التغييرات السياسية في معنى الهوية الوطنية والعرقية في إيران يسلط الضوء على أشكال الصراعات والتناقضات التي عرفتها جميع الدول في حقبة ما بعد الإستعمار. على الرغم من أن الأيديولوجيات تهدف إلى تعزيز الشعور والوعي الوطني – سواء العلمانية القومية الفارسية البهلوية أو القومية العربية العلمانية أو القومية الثورية الإيرانية الدينية- إلا أنها جميعاً ترتكز حول فكرة الحصرية، حصرية من يُشكل الأمة وكيفية الإنتماء إلى المجتمع الوطني المحصور بثقافة ولغة واحدة.
Ajam has a new digital archive, and you can work with us to create an incredible database of stories and images from the 20th century.
Set amid the financial collapse of 2009, Bailout follows the story of Shalah or “Shay,” an Iranian-American woman living in Philadelphia, who struggles to hide her own entrapment in the most American of traditions — credit card debt — from her family members who all harbor their own untold secrets.
The poetry of Forough Farrokhzad is written in the gender neutral Persian language and offers multiple interpretations of gender and subjectivity. Editor of Danish queer feminist magazine Friktion, Nazila Kivi, and poet and translator Shadi Angelina Bazeghi sat down to discuss the challenges of translating Farrokhzad to Danish in the latter’s Danish introduction to Farrokhzad and the queering potential of poetry that transcends language, time and traditional gender roles.
Another installment in Ajam’s Emerging Scholarship Series, where we speak with Dr. Christine Baker about the history of sectarian development in Islam. Dr. Baker discusses notions of “Orthodoxy” and “Heterodoxy” through the lens of 10th century Buyid and Fatimid sources.
One hundred years on from the Armenian Genocide, we highlight but a few Armenian cultural organizations and producers in hopes of both remembering the past, and supporting Armenians who continue to build a better future.