The King Hasn’t Left The Building: An Oral History of an Afghan Musical Icon, Ahmad Zahir

Ahmad Zahir, the major Afghan pop singer of the 1970s, died mysteriously in 1979, a year of upheaval and turmoil in Afghanistan’s political history. Since then, many Afghans, in diaspora and in Afghanistan, maintain a special relationship with Ahmad Zahir and his music. This article explores the memory of one family in using Ahmad Zahir as a way to connect to their homeland.
View Post
Share

The Poster Arts of May Day: International Worker’s Day in Revolutionary Iran

During the Iranian Revolution, International Worker’s Day became an ideological battleground as competing political organizations— secular and religious— organized their constituents and articulated their interpretation of worker’s solidarity. Visual ephemera related to May Day, such as posters, are testaments to the pluralistic nature of the early years of the Revolution. By looking at various posters disseminated by organizations of the time, one can see how various political factions used similar visual motifs and iconography.
View Post
Share

Crafts as Citizen Diplomacy: Slavs and Tatars on Revolutionary Media in Iran and Poland

Far from the tacit dismissal of handicrafts and folklore that has often characterised the modern project, Slavs and Tatars tend to see no less than the currents of history, political emancipation, and ideology in these otherwise discreet craft objects and practices. Some of these traditions – such as the mirror-mosaic – have been instrumentalized for ideological ends.
View Post
Share