Archive for March, 2008

Visions of Alterity?

March 18, 2008


These variations of the “weaponscape: field of armaments” category first appeared on the internet about three years ago, and they can be seen in the markets of Kabul, Herat, and Mashhad. They arrived on the scene at about the same time as tanks began to be replaced by Corollas as borders and decorative infills. What struck us about these designs was the range of non-war motifs (the bus border, limousines, Corollas, luxury cruisers) alongside cruise missiles (?) and vestigial tanks. The (?) is there because our iconographic analysis is closer to guesswork – they look like cruise missiles and stingers, but we’d be happy to be corrected. And luxury cruisers? In the driest land-locked country in the world? Surely these have to be there as objects of desire (or condemnation), a vision of the riches of the outside world? Nobody I spoke to knew their origins, which perhaps suggests “Made in Pakistan”?



The carpet on the left (with brighter blue, and green, with more infill details, and a shy bird) was bought in Mashhad.



Seen on the streets of Herat

March 7, 2008


The bags of rice are imported from Pakistan. Make what you can of the incongruities…

Prince Harry product placement

March 1, 2008


breaking news: now that Prince Harry has been outed as having been serving for the last ten weeks in Helmand province, we can reveal his interest in war carpets… Maybe he bought it on ebay? You too can have one just like it for $0.99. There are 21 listed as “hard to find…” Now wait for war carpets with Prince Harry as the subject… And from The Guardian (no pun intended), another view… you can read the text here – and does anyone see the irony in the fact that it’s a “defeat of the Soviets” motif in the war carpet Prince Harry has his foot on?