Ajam Digital Archive: Recentering Personal and Communal Histories

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.
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Ajam Mixtape #11: Future Sounds from Outtallectuals

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.
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Picturing the Other: Race and Afro-Iranians in Documentary Photography

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.
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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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إيران “فارسية” ؟: تحديات الأسطورة الآرية والتعصب العرقي الفارسي

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.
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Another Birth, Other Words: Queering the Poetry of Forough Farrokhzad in Translation

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.
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