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Ishtar Diaries

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The Ishtar Diaries is a podcast that intersects scholarship of the ancient world with contemporary art, social and political conditions and personal experiences. It revolves around Ishtar, a major ancient goddess of the region, who allows us to reimagine the arts of civilization as aspects of her all-encompassing nature and attributes, inscribed into the historical and archaeological record as if a diary. But these diaries are in a state of continuous becoming. Each time we engaged with them, we have come to redefine ourselves through them, reshape them, remember and forget some of their parts, and add new memories to them. These accumulating narratives are the biographies or diaries that we aim to explore in this podcast. Through this journey, we hope to challenge the colonial and patriarchal narratives and interpretations forced onto this heritage, to contribute to its preservation, to place it in the backdrop of original and often ethereal music produced by contemporary female musicians from the region, and to demonstrate that the ancient past is relevant beyond the realm of academia.

This podcast is under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, which permits not for profit distribution and reproduction of this podcast (such as educational classroom and personal uses), provided the original creator and source are credited. The license does not allow alterations of the underlying work beyond that permitted by fair use without additional permission from the creator. creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

Produced by graduate students at Columbia University:

Majdolene Dajani received her BA in both Anthropology and Classics from UC Santa Barbara and earned her MA in Art History and Archaeology from Columbia University. She has contributed content to this podcast.

Jeiran Jahani is a second year PhD student at the department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. Jeiran has directed, produced and contributed content to this podcast.

Laleh Javaheri-Saatchi is a second year Masters student in the department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. She has contributed content to this podcast.

Kutay Şen is a second year PhD student at the department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. He has contributed content to this podcast.

Aref Heidar (Ceé) is an independent musician, sound designer, and sound producer of music and films, based in Iran. As the music consultant, he has contributed to the musical curation and vision in each episode. He has also been in charge of audio post-production and soundscape design, including original audio recording for ambient sounds and musical elements.

Saphe Shamoun is a second year PhD student in the department of Anthropology at Columbia University. As the music consultant, he has developed the musical vision and contributed to the musical curation in this podcast.


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