Parham Karimi — Master of Architecture, University of Toronto (Corresponding Author) Hamid Afshar — Master of Archeology, Tarbiat Modares University Iranology Foundation, Research Department of Art and Architecture – Fall 2017   The built environment constructed around oil fields are important on many levels. They have influenced the lifestyle of many people who have worked and lived […]

Today, only some Abadanis know that their city was once graced by visits from the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck and Duke Ellington.

When a power-cut hits Abadan, the only thing that fills the darkness with light are the flames of the refinery. This makes it clear to everyone how contradictory and ultimately ephemeral modernity is.

PART TWO: When Iran’s Abadan was Capital of the World by Rasmus Christian Elling Originally published in ABADAN RETOLD This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.   Abadan is special. Or at least, it used to be special. Its urban and social fabric stands out from all other Iranians cities. Its inhabitants […]

by Rasmus Christian Elling Originally published in ABADAN RETOLD This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.ajammc.com. PART ONE: What if oil is magic? Sure, we are used to think of oil as a curse disguised as a blessing: as oil is extracted and refined, it turns […]

Author: Rasmus Christian Elling | Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East Publication date: 2015, Document Version, Early version, also known as pre-print Citation for published version (APA): Elling, R. C. (2015). On Lines and Fences: Labour, Community and Violence in an Oil City. In U. Freitag, N. Fuccaro, C. Ghrawi, & N. Lafi (Eds.), […]

Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East   AUTHOR’S PRE-PRINT VERSION OF ELLING, R. C. (2016) «WAR OF CLUBS: STRUGGLE FOR SPACE IN ABADAN AND THE 1946 OIL STRIKE» IN N. FUCCARO (ED.), VIOLENCE AND THE CITY IN THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST (PP. 189-210). STANFORD UNIVERSITY […]

  ON LINES AND FENCES: LABOUR, COMMUNITY AND VIOLENCE IN AN OIL CITY Rasmus Christian Elling Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East     While the Iranian labour movement undoubtedly perceived the Company as nothing but an extension of British imperialism, the Company could also be seen in a more nuanced light: as […]

  ON LINES AND FENCES: LABOUR, COMMUNITY AND VIOLENCE IN AN OIL CITY Rasmus Christian Elling Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East   On 19 December 1942, two separate episodes of violence led to the Bahmashir Incident. In subsequent reports, the Labour Superintendent recounted that around 2 p.m., three Indian soldiers had gone […]

  ON LINES AND FENCES: LABOUR, COMMUNITY AND VIOLENCE IN AN OIL CITY Rasmus Christian Elling Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East       The horrible living conditions of most oil workers in the early days of the Concession are a well-known topic.[50] Indeed, the Company’s unwillingness or inability to provide adequate […]

  ON LINES AND FENCES: LABOUR, COMMUNITY AND VIOLENCE IN AN OIL CITY Rasmus Christian Elling Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East   The working conditions in Khuzestan were harsh, with long summers dominated by extreme heat and tasks that entailed significant risks and dangers. Work hours were long, breaks few and holidays […]

  ON LINES AND FENCES: LABOUR, COMMUNITY AND VIOLENCE IN AN OIL CITY Rasmus Christian Elling Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East     In the first phase of labour migration between 1908 and 1920, Indians were brought to Khuzestan to work as skilled and unskilled labour in the Fields and as clerks […]

  Rasmus Christian Elling Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East   In December 1942, unrest broke out in Abadan, arguably Iran’s first modern industrial city and home to the world’s biggest oil refinery. Two scuffles in the bazaar provoked Iranians from the Ahmadabad neighbourhood to attack Indian labourers in the ‘Indian Lines’ of […]

War of Clubs: Struggle for Space in Abadan and the 1946 Oil Strike Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East   Unsurprisingly, Tudeh and Company accounts of what happened on 14 and 15 July differ. Certainly, there was a clash sometime after 6 p.m., but […]

  War of Clubs: Struggle for Space in Abadan and the 1946 Oil Strike Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East Throughout 1946, Arab sheikhs repeatedly complained to the Company about Tudeh’s aggressive campaigning. In Abadan’s rural hinterland, Arabs violently confronted itinerant Tudeh propagandists, and […]

War of Clubs: Struggle for Space in Abadan and the 1946 Oil Strike Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East   Despite the Company’s vigorous attempts to curb dissent, the success of the labor movement was nonetheless directly tied to the very spaces created by […]

  War of Clubs: Struggle for Space in Abadan and the 1946 Oil Strike Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East   By the 1910s, a modus vivendi had been established between the Company and Sheikh Khaz’al. The former lent the latter recognition, external protection, […]

War of Clubs: Struggle for Space in Abadan and the 1946 Oil Strike Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East   Abadan’s modern history is inextricably tied to that of the Anglo-Persian— later Anglo-Iranian—Oil Company (henceforth, “the Company”). When oil was struck in Iran in […]

Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East   [W]e cannot be over-nice about legality and fair play where it is a question of vital oil interests. The British ambassador in Tehran to the consul in Ahwaz, May 1946[1] In its mid-twentieth-century heyday, the city of […]

A lecture in Persian by Rasmus Christian Elling, Copenhagen University. Part of the UCLA CNES and Program of Iranian Studies Bilingual Lecture Series. Sunday, June 01, 2014 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM 121 Dodd Hall UCLA *LECTURE IN PERSIAN The Oil City in an Age of Jazz: Nostalgia and Modernity in Abadan, Iran We often […]

Everyone should know about Abadan Rasmus Christian Elling (PhD, Associate Professor), University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Feb 25, 2015 Abadan, Iran is special. Across the world, thousands cherish memories of life in what was once a cosmopolitan beacon of modernity in the Middle East, longing for the places, spaces and faces of the city. And yet, […]

by Rasmus Christian Elling, an Associate professor at the University of Copenhagen   This article is the second installment in a three-part series on oil, nostalgia, and the southwestern Iranian city of Abadan.The first part in the series can be found here and the third part can be found here. Part Two Abadan is special. Or […]