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Ajam’s Mehelle: Recording Everyday Life in Endangered Neighborhoods

Over the last five years, Ajam has supported exciting new research on urbanism and cityscapes in the lands stretching from Anatolia to Central and South Asia, This includes articles on urban beautification in Mashhad, social housing in Yerevan, native architecture in Bombay,right to the city initiatives in Canakkale, state development projects in Baku, and many more.

While we have been interested in urban history from the very beginning, we understand the limitations of the “traveling scholar” in accessing local knowledge, particularly in neighborhoods that are undergoing drastic change. In order to fill in the gaps of knowledge production about urban space, Ajam Media Collective has created Mehelle— a new project dedicated to preserving the sights, sounds, and memories of rapidly-changing neighborhoods from Eastern Anatolia to Central Asia.

Mehelle will serve as a multimedia resource for local inhabitants, community organizers, and urban researchers long after such neighborhoods have been demolished, gentrified, or transformed by private and state-led construction projects.

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