The Anxious Interpreter: An Ethnographic Experience of the Iranian Revolution

Lodanne Assad, University of St. Thomas


This ethnographic project uses family interviews to create a visual text about the Iranian Revolution of 1979, and explores the question of whether or not one can authentically portray aspects of another culture. It acknowledges that ethnographic truths are inherently, in the words of James Clifford, "partial truths," and suggests that ethnography is an "art" in its thoughtful way of shaping fragmented information into a cohesive narrative. This project will explore what it means to learn about the Iranian Revolution from family members who lived through it, and how to find an appropriate balance between objective and subjective forms of representation.