Exhibit Reception w/
Ehsan Estiri (PhD Candidate, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures) & Afsane Rezaei (PhD Candidate, Comparative Studies)
Southern California has been home to the largest Iranian diaspora population for more than four decades. Following the 1979 revolution in Iran and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, many left Iran due either to their ties to the former Shah, fear of religious and political persecution, or in search of better opportunities. The population of Iranians in the US has now grown to an estimated one million in Southern California alone, mainly concentrated in the Los Angeles metro area--or Irangeles.
This exhibit looks at various aspects of Iranian-Americans' lives in Southern California and the religious, political, and cultural diversity within the community, featuring a range of practices that have been maintained, modified, or fully reinvented in the US context after migration. The exhibit is the result of a year-long dissertation field research by Ehsan Estiri and Afsane Rezaei in Southern California in 2017-18.
The images aim to portray the complexity and diversity of an immigrant community that is often the subject of misconceptions and stereotypes in the US and caught in the political crossfire between the two countries. Some images also depict the ways in which Iranian immigrants utilize the space of their public events to negotiate with the US political and media discourses at a time of rising political tensions.
The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Folklore Studies, Department of Comparative Studies, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and Middle East Studies Center. This event is FREE and open to the public.