Cover image: Kevin Sudeith/Warrug.com
When i was in Yazd (Iran) i met an awesome guy who told me a lot of stuff about the attributes of the persian carpets. Apart from their extreme beauty the persian carpets have had a long history and their value was broadcast in the West from the ancient bourgeoisie. A curiosity that struck me was the fact that some of these important carpets are sewn by nomadic peoples of Iran and Afghanistan. These carpets are then sold to merchants that considerably increases the price. The price also continues to increase proportionally to the time. Its interesting to know that in the past the carpet performs a function very similar to that of a bank because it can be very easily sold and its price increases as an interest-bearing bond, from year to year. In summary a carpet was a real mobile bank.
During our discussion I was attracted by a huge carpet on the wall representing grenades, soldiers and stylized tanks. It was sinister and imposing. The owner told me that the carpet was produced by the Afghans during the American/Russian occupation, I had never seen anything like it. It was like a representation of the obsession and fear. It was like the draw of a baby under the flying missiles. During the ’80s on the carpets begin to appear controversial images of guns and Kalashnikovs, helicopters and often sewn with the color of blood spots. In the Afghan world these carpets are also called Baluch or simply war rugs.
These kind of carpets are also an important propaganda document as in some of them there is a reflection of the Afghan thoughts about the war, their point of view about the Russian presence and its influence on the Afghan government. Sometimes the maps represented in carpets provide a real geography of the war while someone would also like to confirm that these rugs have been processed using labor of children for just a business flow.
The production lasts between Afghanistan, Iran and some Pakistani immigrant camps but I will not be able to explain what are the technical differences. The civil war has forced many to leave their lands and for this reason most of these carpets have definitely been produced outside.