April 6, 2023

EP. 313 — How Are Iranians Making History? (Part Two) with The Iranian Diaspora Collective

A note from team Getting Curious: This episode contains descriptions of violence that are at times graphic.


Women in Iran aren’t allowed to dance, sing, or show their hair in public. But it wasn’t always this way in the country. In part two of our conversation with Moj Mahdara and Nicolette Mason of the Iranian Diaspora Collective, we’re exploring the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran—and considering what a free, secular democracy, a new constitution, and an end to theocracy could look like for Iranians.


If you haven’t listened to part one yet, check it out. We discuss the basics on what it’s like to live in Iran today, and map out the women-led revolution underway in the country.


You can follow Iranian Diaspora Collective on Instagram @iraniandiasporacollective, and at iraniandiasporacollective.com. Nicolette is on Instagram @nicolettemason. Moj is on Instagram @moj.


And you can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN to join the conversation.


The Iranian Diaspora Collective (501c3 pending) is a non-partisan, multi-faith group that is inclusive of multiple backgrounds, gender and LGBTQIA+ identity. The Iranian Diaspora Collective supports the demands of Iranians inside Iran who want a free, secular democracy, a new constitution and an end to theocracy.


Nicolette Mason (she/her) is a celebrated writer, brand strategist in the fashion and beauty industries, and advocate for Inclusivity. She’s a queer, Iranian-American, Jewish advocate, and a founding member of the Iranian Diaspora Collective. As an advocate for diversity and inclusion, Nicolette has collaborated with brands such as Barbie, Nordstrom, Target, NARS, and more, and also co-founded a cult-followed fashion brand called Premme, alongside Gabi Gregg.


Moj Mahdara (she/they), is an Iranian-American entrepreneur, CEO and VC, a co-founder of Kinship Ventures and founding member of Iranian Diaspora Collective. They are focused on bringing more inclusion and diversity to the cap table and have invested in 100+ companies since 2011. Mahdara recently co-founded new fund Kinship Ventures alongside Gwyneth Paltrow. They are also the former CEO of Beautycon, a globally-recognized community for content creators, celebrities, fans, and brands.


Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.


Transcripts for each episode are available at JonathanVanNess.com.


Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our editor is Andrew Carson. Production support from Julie Carrillo, Chris McClure, and Erin McKeon.


Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to TheQuinCat.com.


Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness &  The Iranian Diaspora Collective PART TWO   JVN [00:00:04] Okay. Islamic Republic, 1979. Okay, what do we need to know about this moment in history? Because all I know is, like, fucking Carter. Like maybe a hostage situation or something. Like, what happened with this Islamic Republic? Like, who’s running it now? How did they come into power? Nicolette. Or Moj. Whoever wants to go.    MOJ MAHDARA [00:00:26] I’m going to give it to you in a mouthful and then Nicolette will riff. Okay. This started back in the fifties when Mossadeq, who was the prime minister, was removed from power by the CIA because he contested British Petroleum’s power and imposition over this oil. They had built an amazing oil pipeline and refinery. Look, Iran was a third world country in the early 1900s. BP comes in. BP was created in Iran. British Petroleum. They pay for the refineries. They pay for the infrastructure. And then they basically give them

Recent Episodes

May 31, 2023

In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court of the United States will hand down decisions that could have major implications for LGBTQIA+ rights, racial justice, tribal sovereignty, and beyond.

May 24, 2023

We’re dripping in jewels this week on Getting Curious! What does it mean for a diamond to be “hard”? Are lab-grown gems made to perfection? What’s the difference between rubies and pink sapphires?

May 18, 2023

New Orleans was one of America’s most important cities in the early 1800s. It was also one of the most deadly. This week, to mark the new season of Queer Eye, we’re exploring New Orleans history with Dr. Kathryn Olivarius in a special two-part episode.