Ahmad Muxtar’s Red Frame not only documents Baku’s rapid urban transformation, but also explores the ways our perceptions of urban space are framed by social, political, and economic forces.
With more and more tourists visiting Iran every day, Ajam and See You In Iran have teamed up to bring you a travel series to Iran’s diverse cities. This first installation focuses on the vibrant urban life of Tehran, Iran’s largest city and capital.
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.
Celebrated from Eastern Anatolia to the western parts of China, diverse communities claim Nowruz as their own New Year’s holiday. While many recognize that Nowruz, which coincides with the Spring Equinox, has roots in Zoroastrianism, very few know how Zoroastrians celebrate this holiday in parts of Iran today.
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.