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.
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.
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.
The post-Soviet art of Central Asia and the Caucasus comes out of a Soviet-era conversation of artistic styles that looks not just to Moscow but also to Mecca. An understanding of the high and low registers of this Soviet cultural heritage allows the humor and self-confidence of the work to be appreciated — aesthetically as well as financially — by audiences.
The Ajam Family would like to wish you all a very happy Nowruz and spring season. Enjoy this podcast, which collects the sounds of festivities from the different parts of the world that celebrate this joyous day.
Yura Movsisyan came to the United States as a refugee from violence in his formerly-cosmopolitan, formerly Soviet, hometown of Baku. Now one of the best young soccer players in the world, he has become a national treasure for Armenians and for Americans. As a Hometown Hero for a worldwide diaspora community, Movsisyan has become a unique young man who is the symbol of a new 21st century Armenianness.
This piece was originally published on The Tuqay before it became part of Ajam Media Collective. Throughout Azerbaijan’s two decades of post-Soviet independence, relations between the country’s secular government and…
A guest post by Kamyar Jarahzadeh, a student at UC Berkeley focusing on migration and forced migration in Turkey and the Middle East. Like the modern music of most cultures, a…