Photo Narratives 

Rumi & People's History of Architecture

(Mehrdad Qayoomi, Issue 6&7)

(Touraj Atabaki - Transl. Shahram Qolami, Issue 1)

"This article revisits the life and times of Indian migrant workers in Persia/Iran during the first half of the twentieth century, and discusses their contributions to the founding, development and eventual consolidation of the Persian/Iranian oil industry...A number of factors that shaped this experience are investigated."
​​​​​​​(*Translated to Persian for Issue no.1 with author permission)

(Afsaneh Najmabadi, Issue 4&5)

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What is important to note in the study of people’s history of architecture is not 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.

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.

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History of Domestic Servants

Servants started their work from early morning in their masters' houses. Each servant had a specific set of duties such as cooking, cleaning and entertaining the master and his guests. The division of duties gradually established a new sector of domestic servants alongside labourers. Neither group however, received social or legal protection.

History of Theft in Iran 

Robberies were carried out 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.

(Niloofar Kasra, Issue 8&9)

​(Hossein Bayatloo, Issue 4&5)

Omitted Voices in Satirical Media 

(Farhad Dashtaki Nia, Issue 2&3)

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

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Featured Articles

  Mardomnameh studies the stories and histories of everyday people  ​​​​​​​

(Issue 10&11)

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In this issue, we explore a variety of topics such as the history of coffeehouses in Tabriz, the evolution of hats in Qajar and Pahlavi Iran, the first encounters of Iranian people with three European inventions between the 13th and 16th centuries and the 1974 film of Sohrab Shahid Sales, The Still Life. In our extended theory section, we review Ethan Kleinberg, Joan Wallach Scott and Gary Wildler's Theses on History and Theory. We also cover our recent sessions on Ervand Abrahamian and our Q&A session on theoretical and conceptual history.

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 Inge Morath - 1956  
 (Magnum Website)​​​​​​​  ​​​​​​​

 Mardomnameh seeks fresh perspectives  

  on the study of People's History  ​​​​​​​

In the Latest Issue

On Ervand Abrahamian

By Mohammad Maljoo
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Read more in Issue 10&11

​​It is a credit to the work of Abrahamian that we study modern Iranian history not only from the perspective of conquerors​​​​​​​, kings and elites but also from subaltern viewpoints and contexts. Abrahamian’s narrative of modern Iranian history is shaped not just by the perspective of conquerors, but by that of the conquered; not just by the rulers but by that of the ruled and not just by perpetrators but also by the victims.

​Coffeehouses were important social venues in Iran. They functioned as centres for information exchange where debates took place on social and political issues of the day. In the Qajar era, where the heir to the throne resided in the city of Tabriz, coffeehouses expanded rapidly due to the economic and political privileges that the royal residency brought to the city.

​​​​​​​Tabriz Coffeehouses

By Sirous Baradaran Shokouhi 
​​​​​​​Read more in Issue 10&11 

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