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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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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Farzin Vejdani on “Making History in Iran: Education, Nationalism, and Print Culture”

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.
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Çanakkale Belongs to the People: Reclaiming and Reusing Urban Heritage in 21st-Century Turkey

Turkey may be perceived, both by outside observers and by Turks, to be an authoritarian democracy fueled by a construction boom. This is not entirely unfair, but this particular city of 116,000 on the Dardanelles is either the exception that proves the rule or a new way forward, as its citizens struggle and more often than not succeed to keep their city unique.
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