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For many Iranians, the question of “belonging” in the United States has been a fraught one because of the volatile situation the community has faced in recent decades. This antagonism towards Iranians has perhaps incidentally covered up the long connection between the United States and Iran: the fact that there have been Iranians in the United States since the 1600s.
Using materials from the Ajam Digital Archive, Narges Bajoghli recounts the experiences of Iran-Iraq War veterans who spent endless days during their youth fighting in close combat in dark and bloody trenches.
In the first installment of our ongoing collaboration with Ottoman History Podcast, Chris Gratien talks to Saghar Sadeghian about the role of Non-Muslims in the Iranian Constitutional Movement.
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.
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.
Ajam Media Collective is proud to launch its first ever digital book club, featuring Sohail Daulatzai’s Black Star, Crescent Moon: The Muslim International and Black Freedom Beyond America. Tune in on Sunday March 22nd at 3pm EST for our second live stream.
To participate in the discussion forum on the Introduction, Chapters 1 and 2, click here. To listen to the first live-streamed discussion, click here. Some Sunday reading news–Ajam Media Collective is…
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.