Dr. Ghazal Jafari is a territorial scholar, weaver, and design educator in exile, originally trained as an architect and urban designer. Her research focuses on spatial and environmental justice, racialized geographies, infrastructures of domination, feminist theories, immigrant narratives, and non-Western spatial discourses. Originally of Persian and Azeri descent and currently living in the United States, Dr. Jafari left Iran due to political and socioenvironmental violence and has since been documenting the complex, multi-dimensional, and transnational facets of systemic dispossession and heteropatriarchy that prevail in the Afro-Asiatic regions (’Middle East’) and the Americas, whose underlying code of supremacy is entrenched in territorial and infrastructural violence against peoples and the Land. She is the founding director of Miyān Rudān/ميان‌ رودان (’Between Rivers’ in Farsi), a territorial initiative based in the river systems crossing the borderlands of Iran and Iraq. As part of this initiative, her coming book concentrates on clashing histories of sanctions, systemic dispossessions, and feminist methods of transgression inscribed in landscapes between rivers, where subversive matriarchy and resurgent ecologies in the work of women become a blueprint for refusal, transgenerational resistance, cultural identity, and political self-determination, past, present, and future. Methodologically, her work is invested in creative countermaps and counternarratives in multimedia and multicraftual format, with attention to time-tested, situated, and culturally-rooted knowledge of living systems. Dr. Jafari is a founding director of OPEN SYSTEMS / Landscape Infrastructure Lab, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to opening the knowledge of complex ecological challenges and raising awareness about geopolitical conflicts at the intersection of environmental justice, spatial inequality, climate adaptation, and community self-determination. Her recent projects and publications include A BOTANY OF VIOLENCE: Across 529 Years of Resistance & Resurgence (Goff books, 2021), NOT YOUR AMAZON TO EXPLOIT (2019-2021), “NO DESIGN ON STOLEN LAND: Dismantling Design’s Dehumanizing White Supremacy” Architectural Design 90 (2020), CONFRONTING COLUMBUS (2019-20), THE MISSING 400: On the Erasure of Women from the Urban Environment (2016-18), and NEW GEOGRAPHIES 09: Posthuman (2016-18). She is an Assistant Professor of Urban & Environmental Planning at University of Virginia. Like many others in her generation, she was displaced and forced to leave Iran in 2007 in a mass exodus of Iranian youth.


Anti-Racism Collective Lecture Series: Building Identities
Rice School of Architecture
3 4 2022

Environmental Humanities at Scale, Panel One: Plant Diaspora
University of Virginia
3 18 2022

TOWARDS A FLORA OF THE FUTURE: An Initiative on Plants, Climate Activism, Territorial Justice, & Liberatory Feminism
University of Virginia School of Architecture
(symposium and book launch) 1 28 2022
(exhibition) 1 28 – 3 05 2022

exhibition at 17th Venice Architecture Biennale 2021
5 22 - 11 21 2021

“BROWN LANDSCAPES: Representations & the Making of Other Geographies in North American Design culture”
Companion reader: LANDSCAPE as RESISTANCE- 
Pretexts, Subtexts, Contexts in Struggles for Environmental Justice
LABash Conference 2021, Cornell University
4 11 2021

“BROWN LANDSCAPES: Regionalism & Dispossession in Iran-Iraq Borderlands”
Space & Place: Critical Mapping and Counter-cartography
The Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, NYU
4 1 2021

“ARCHIVAL ACTIVISM: Notes on Countermapping Violence”
Drawing as Method Symposium
University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, & Design
3 26-7 2021

“BETWEEN RIVERS: Landscape and Representation in Globalization of the United States Technocratic Infrastructures”
Summer Design Institute Lecture Series
University of Virginia School of Architecture
8 5 2020

background: رناس / rubia tinctorum, key natural dye in Persian carpets and herbal medicine endemic to arid regions of Zagros Mountains and Iranian Plateau (image source: Brigham Young University)
©2021 ghazaljafari
made on lands of the Monacan Indian Nation (The 1677 Treaty of Middle Plantation)