The latest in our Emerging Scholarship series, we spoke with Dr. Farzin Vejdani about history and history-making in Iran during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Dr. Vejdani describes the changing nature of Iranian historiography from court histories to national ones, while also elucidating the roles women and foreigners had in Iranian history-making. Dr. Vejdani is an Assistant Professor of History at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Ajam mixtapes continue, this time with a sample of music that features Persian poetry as it appears in different musical forms. This mix showcases the myriad of ways Persian poems find their way into music, ranging from Rumi poems sang over classical styles to readings of American poetry in translation. Each poem is accompanied with an English translation.
In 2014, we covered a wide variety of topics ranging from morality and consumer culture in contemporary Iran to Soviet state planning in Yerevan and Afghan pop from the 70s, provoking a great deal of controversy along the way. Check out our ten most-viewed articles from 2014.
“We create our own prisons.” Prashanth Kamalakanthan describes the works of Nuri Bilge Ceylan using his words, his images, and his work’s inspirations.
Writing “nation” on the body of Persian literature participates in the erasure of dynamic and ongoing conversations on genre, form, and style that have shaped the contours of this literary tradition across a vast geography that in the premodern world stretched from Anatolia to the Bay of Bengal. What does it mean to imagine Persian literature as a “national canon” even today?
Recently, Iranian television production has the proliferation of “home shows” (namâyesh-e khânegui). These series have official government permission to be produced, yet are only allowed to be distributed through DVD sales. How has the “home show” network opened an alternative space of expression within the official media landscape of the Islamic Republic?
What are some of the ways that the Ashura mourning plays of ta’ziyeh get translated when traveling to foreign lands? What elements of the tradition are altered and similarly, what elements are kept in tact? How can a foreign audience negotiate themselves as alternative spectators? Can ta’ziyeh be a site of travel in itself? Exploring possible answers to such questions allows leeway into the ever-evolving global discussion of our complex and entangled modernity.
Ashura is a day of mourning marked by Muslims around the world to commemorate the martyrdom of the grandson of the prophet Muhammad, Hossein, and his compatriots. As a day of commemoration, it has been marked by people of all faiths across large swathes of South, Central, and Western Asia for centuries. This photo essay documents presents a look at the ritual in Istanbul’s Zeynebiye neighborhood in 2013, the center of the city’s Shia population.
As the Ajam Media Collective mixtape series nears the double digits, we present this roundup of previous mixtapes to allow you to catch up on any mixes you may have missed, or give you a chance to revisit your favorites.
Ajam Media Collective recently worked with THE STATE, a Dubai-based publishing practice, to make a ‘zine. We provided the words and art while they provided the design to make a wonderful collaborative document. We are also publishing the work on our site, beginning with this introduction.