The First “Iranian-Armenian” in America

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.
View Post

Ajam Mixtape #11: Future Sounds from Outtallectuals

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.
View Post

The Emergence of ‘Home Shows’: The Market and Politics of Television Entertainment in Iran

Recently, Iranian television production has the proliferation of “home shows” (namâyesh-e khânegui). These series have official government permission to be produced, yet are only allowed to be distributed through DVD sales. How has the “home show” network opened an alternative space of expression within the official media landscape of the Islamic Republic?
View Post

Ajam Mixtape #8: Shared Songs

Ajam’s latest podcast, this time featuring shared songs across from Southwest Asia. With samplings from Persian, Greek, Turkish, Arab and other language groups, this mixtape emphasizes the kinds of oft-forgotten transnational connections that exist in music.
View Post