Discover books, organizations and other resources on Iranian diaspora arts and culture

A novel by Djavadi (2018)

Written originally in French, this novel reads like a memoir. Refreshingly non-sentimental, the story weaves Iranian history with modern French society and culture. Djavadi relays a political tale while managing to not take "a side" and humanize the impact social activism can have on a family, particularly the psyche of the next generation.

Neshat:  Facing History (2015)

This companion volume to Neshat's 2015 exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum demonstrates the breadth of her photography and films.  The images and accompanying essays relay the enduring struggle of immigrants as outsiders in all cultures.  The book is edited by Melissa Chiu and Melissa Ho. 

Ajam Media Collective

Beyond "Iranian" culture, this site brings to a wider audience the complex debates happening in academia about lands they refer to as Ajamistan. Check out their site to learn about that term. The history here is a reminder that we were all, through our ancestors, part of a diaspora community somewhere, during some period.

A novel by Dina Nayeri (2017)

A highly relatable story of emigration, discovery, and the search for belonging.  This story spans multiple countries, demonstrating how assimilation can take a lifetime, even for those who want to integrate but find themselves pulled back to a source they can't quite define or describe

The Limits of Whiteness (2017)

Ever wonder whether Iranians are "white" under the current definitions in the U.S.? Ever wonder whether it matters?  Professor Neda Maghbouleh integrates legal history with anthropology and sociology to put in context the paradox of existing racial categories as it relates to the experience of Iranians in the diaspora. 

A Memoir by Sayrafiezadeh (2009)

An Iranian diaspora story that's set in the U.S., notable among so many memoirs that write about travels to Iran or the aftermath of the Islamic revolution.  This one too has politics at its core; ideology having brought together the author's parents through the Socialist Worker's Party and, later, providing a platform for him, not necessarily by choice, to remain connected.

Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies

Located at San Francisco State University, this Center is the first of its kind -- dedicated to research and teaching about the historical and cultural experiences of the global Iranian diaspora community.

Persian Arts Festival (PAF)

PAF is a non-profit organization dedicated to showcasing the magnificence and diversity of Persian art and culture through its voices, artists, and visionaries.  PAF brings global and local communities together to explore one of the world's ancient and rich civilizations. Founded in 2005 by Mona Kayhan, PAF is a sponsored project of the NY Foundation for the Arts. 

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