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In contemporary Istanbul, it can be quite difficult to find evidence of the city’s cosmopolitan past. While the vast majority of the city’s inhabitants today identify as Muslim, in the early 20th century the city’s population was majority non-Muslim. Among the many communities that formed part of Istanbul’s elaborate multi-religious and multi-cultural mosaic were large numbers of Ottoman Greeks, Armenians, and Jews who had been an indelible part of life in Istanbul – and across the Empire – for as long as the city had existed. Luckily, the prolific recording industry of the city and its diaspora offers another glimpse of how Istanbul once sounded through the traces of its musical legacy.
In late 2013, filmmaker Vincent Moon visited Azerbaijan to create a documentary about the country’s traditional music, the places that gave birth to it, and the culture surrounding it. After…
If Sayat Nova wrote hundreds of songs in Armenian, Azeri, and Georgian, then why are the cross-cultural celebrations of Sayat Nova so few and far between? Gaps in the historical record and contemporary political environment make a pancultural perspective of the legendary bard of the Caucasus more difficult.
This guest mix from Outtalectuals takes the Ajam mixtape series to new planes, both sonically and geographically. This mix came to fruition as an attempt to use the Ajam platform to show artists who are critically and uniquely engaging with music that is often cordoned off into the “world music” sphere. Instead, Outtalectuals takes these sounds as influences to deeply connect with, rather than cliches to reproduce and slightly modify.
Nowruz — which literally means “new day” in Persian — means new beginnings. As a holiday associated with the coming of spring, it is naturally a productive force and a time of reflection on the year that has past as well as our wishes for the year to come. May the year 1394 be full of ideas, creativity, love, resistance, and power for all.
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. Mark your…
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…
Kamyar Jarahzadeh aka Yavaran brings us to the dance floor once again, this time with a wedding-themed mixtape in time for Valentine’s Day. This mix highlights the shared happiness and culture that surrounds the region’s marriage celebrations.
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.