“Since , O Mazda from the beginning, Thou didst create soul and body, mental power and knowledge , and since Thou didst bestow to mankind the power to act , speak and guide , you wished that everyone should chose their own faith and path freely.”

Zaratostra - Yasna 31, Verse 11

One who always thinks of his own safety and profit, how can he love the joy-bringing Mother Earth? The righteous man that follows Asha's Law shall dwell in regions radiant with Thy Sun, the abode where wise ones dwell.”

Zaratostra Yasna, Verse 2

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Abstract for the Symposium by Dr Mammad Aidani

We are sedimented: Perceptions and identity amongst the Iranian Diaspora

Centered on the idea of sedimentation this paper discusses the displaced narratives of Iranians in Australia and the ways in which they perceive and give meaning to the positive and negative emotions which they have
formed about themselves, their experiences of displacement, and cultural Otherness. 

The paper argues that these perceptions and the meanings attached to the experiences are the sedimentation of geography, culture,history and linguistics. This sedimentation has shaped the psyche, memory and emotions of Iranians living in the diaspora. I argue that the perceptions of the Iranian diaspora are not only rooted in a sedimented cultural identity but also in the body’s perceptions of phenomena.

Dr Mammad Aidani is an interdisciplinary scholar specializing in phenomenological philosophy and narrative existential psychology. He is based in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne.  He is also a playwright and theatre practitioner . His research examines the cultural meanings of suffering and the types of identities and modes of belonging that shape the local world of diaspora communities. He is the author of Welcoming the Stranger: Narratives of Identity and Belonging in an Iranian Diaspora (Common Ground 2010). His plays have been staged both in Australia and internationally.  His recent Journal articles have been published in the Journal of Intercultural Studies ( Routledge, 2010)   and The International Journal of the Arts in Society (Common Ground 2010).  His current research focuses on “ sedimentation, perception, consciousness and the body:  The ways of suffering amongst Iranian diaspora men.”

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