Archive for July, 2010

Mission Impossible

July 24, 2010

The Pentagon has a plan to rationalise the carpet business!!! Read this report by Noah Shachtman here

“The Afghan carpet industry requires essential training and know-how development in the field of carpet washing and finishing – an essential element of the value chain of any high-end, hand-woven carpet.” Tremayne is there to “operationalize the effort.”

Tremayne will also be responsible for landing 15 Afghan suppliers and finding three shipping routes out of Afghanistan that are “commercially viable (i.e., reasonably secure and consistent).” Once those routes are scoped out, Tremayne is supposed to put together an international sales hub in Istanbul, secure “commitments from a minimum of 5 major institutional buyers,” and start building “a market for the Afghan brand” with “strategic marketing & public relations.”

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Herat Uprising Monument

July 23, 2010

See our previous post for details…

buying a “gun” rug on Chicken St

July 9, 2010

Tatiana Divens alerted us to this video of Rachel Maddow visiting Chicken Street in Kabul and buying a “gun” rug for $20. It was actually one of the “defeat of the Soviets” rugs first mass-produced in the 1990s, which were still being mass-reproduced (below see the warp being separated and trimmed) in 2007, and now made and dated 2010. Maddow’s the perfect exponent of the market for “tourist art” or “souvenir art”, or now, “carry-on art”…

One swallow does not a summer make

July 7, 2010

…so said Aristotle. Equally (I would argue) just one truck (or one helicopter) does not a “war carpet” make… Close cousins, but not necessarily “warlike”.

The (scrambled) text tells us it was made on the 25th in the first month of 1377 (1998), on a “Tuesday”, [verb unintelligible] “with laughter” [or “a smile”].  So the rugmaker has a sense of humour – probably thinking of us all scratching our heads… What is really interesting (apart from the handsome Aimaqi gul/medallion) is the almost-naturalism of the truck rendered in three-quarter perspective. And, please, if any reader wants to suggest an origin or comparison for this distinctive medallion, (Sirjan?) please do so…