‘Sacred curses’: Persian-australian rap narratives

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This paper examines the texts of two young rappers who migrated to Australia from Iran and rap in their first language, Persian. The rappers call these ‘life epistles’ and use the narratives to recount traumatic memories of oppression in Iran, migration, and the experiences of teenage isolation in Australia. They shape an Iranian-Australian cultural memory drawing on not only recent experience of trauma but also traditional and allegorical Sufi poems that engage with the themes of the self in the world. No less than the memoirs of women, which have become popular commodities in the recent past, these ‘sacred curses’ of the rappers are traumatic narratives that explore autobiographically the experiences of trauma and recovery. They are, however, circulating in very different domains and languages of Iranian life story.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-46
Number of pages18
JournalLife Writing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • Exilic literature
  • Iranian diaspora
  • Persian rap
  • Traumatic life narrative

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