Featuring : 
​​​​​​​Shahr-e no, an Interview  
Social Housing in 1960s Tehran
Hosseinieh Ershad and its History
A Public History of Architecture
Cultural History of Cigarettes in conversation with Joachim Hainzl
and more... 

 Special Annual Edition 

( Special Annual Edition (2020-2021) )

New Issue

Contents - فا

In this special annual edition, we cover a variety of topics on people's history such as an historical review of Tehran’s Shah-re no (red-light district), modern leisure and city-life in early 20th century Rasht, government plans for social housing in 1960s Tehran; public architectural histories and a critical overview of European discourses in the historiography of Iranian-Islamic art. Other sections include articles on social and cultural history, book reviews, and interviews on theory philosophy and the cultural history of cigarettes. 

Online Edition

  We study the stories and histories of everyday people  ​​​​​​​

Social Housing in 1960s Tehran

Hosseinieh Ershad and its History

​(Saba Madani - Researcher in Architechtural History)

Shahr-e no (From Construction to Demolition)

(Elham Azhari, Researcher at Niroo Inst)

(Mohammad J. Abdollahi, Iran History PhD.)

In the Latest Issue

The relocation of the poor from the city centre to the 9th of Aban district in the south of Tehran improved their living conditions but deteriorated their income opportunities. In previous locations, they lived closer to more affluent parts of the city which provided them with job opportunities such as domestic service, laundry service, car-washing, ticket selling, etc.​​​​​​​ 

​The history of Hosseinieh Ershad is the history of a collective vision and a sense of determination in building an influential and popular medium for intellectual exchange. Innovative measures and tolerant approaches defined the eventual success of its visionaries, most notably building within the religious construction, a fully equipped meeting hall where the stage replaced the pulpit.

In the years after the 1979 revolution, there has been less talk of Tehran's Shahr-e no (red-light district) but it is still possible to find people with past associations to the district. More than 40 years after its demolition, I interviewed one of the women who worked there. Moones, now 60, worked in the district with her mother from the age of 13.

​Source: Eugene Aftandilianz​​​​​​​

​Source: Khadijeh Kiakajouri​​​​​​​

A Writer Beyond Fixed Realities

A Public History of Architecture 

​(Samaneh Mohseni, Architecture Graduate)

Modern Leisure (A View from Rasht)

(Zohreh Tohidi, Graduate of Iranian Architecture)

​(Dorota Aslapa, PhD Student of Iranian History)

Olga Tokarczuk (born in 1962) is a Polish writer and the recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in literature. Her writings address issues such as identity crises, the passage of time, the finite nature of life, the ethnic and religious minorities of Poland and their way of life, women's rights, animal rights and the overall narratives and stories of people that are less heard.  

What is the nature of people's interest in the history of architecture? In my view, the general public prefer to move beyond the sites as a whole and learn exciting and relatable stories about them. Thus, devising factual and engaging narratives that inspire empathy and appreciation for historical buildings is central in shaping a public history of architecture. 

From the 1900s and with the construction of the first modern street in Rasht (Pahlavi Street, now Imam Khomeini Street), leisure moved from nature to the city. With no electricity in most parts of Rasht, the streetlights and the various shops and window displays added to the attraction and fascination, making leisure a more accessible feature of daily city life. 

Photo: Farsheed Nasrabadi

Photo: Thilo Schmulgen/Reuters

 We seek fresh perspectives on the study of People's History 

People's History of Architecture 

Photo Narratives 

(Afsaneh Najmabadi, Issue 4&5)​​​​​​​

History and Literary Criticism 

(Hossein Payandeh, Issue 1)

Differentiating between writings on the history of literature on the one hand and historical fiction on the other is a complex task which brings us back to a central epistemological debate : To what extent should literature be a medium of historical reflection? What is the significance or influence of historical knowledge in  understanding works of literature? 

(Mehrdad Qayoomi, Issue 6&7)

Issue 6&7
Issue 4&5

In Sherry Turkle's words, photos and family photos are "evocative objects underscoring the inseparability of thought and feeling in our relationship to things. We think with the objects we love; we love the objects we think with." Family photos that come to life through family recollections are significant sources in family historiography​​​​​​​.

The distinguishing feature of people’s history of architecture is not a just a matter of subject or methodology but a matter of perspective. From a broader viewpoint, an architectural site represents not just the final construction but a process of people as forces of construction. In people's history of architecture, the traces and faces of such forces are explored.

Issue 1

People's History in Tanavoli's Work

Lion is a recurring pattern in Tanavoli's work, depicted both individually and next to the sun in sculptures, rugs and paintings. The oil paitining of a lion pictured above is a compilation of different rectangles, resembling Bakhtiari stone lions. The half circle sun behind the lion embodies a cedar tree which is one of the oldest design patterns in Iranian history. 

History of Theft in Iran 

The groundwork for the publication of satirical periodicals in Iran was laid by the constitutional revolution in 1906. In five months the Azarbaijan Periodical was published with the backing of figures such as Sattar Khan. The periodical was modelled after the famous Molla Nasredin periodical (1906-1931) that was printed in Tiflis (Tbilisi) at the time.

(Lotfollah Kargari Aryan & Morteza Afshar, Issue 8&9)

​(Hossein Bayatloo, Issue 4&5)

Omitted Voices in Satirical Media 

(Farhad Dashtaki Nia, Issue 2&3)

Robberies were planned in different ways. Thieves adopted new methods of stealing after previous methods were exposed to the public. In urban areas, robberies occurred predominantly in shops where access to cash or commodities was presumed. Stealing tactics from shops varied depending on the shop location, time of day and crowd numbers.​​​​​​​

Issue 8&9
Issue 2&3
Issue 4&5

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