The historian Arnold Toynbee has described Afghanistan as a “roundabout of the ancient world” due to the masses of people that have passed through this region over the centuries. In modern times too, many of the world’s armies have passed through temporarily establishing control over this region, and still it refuses to be colonized. At Fen we have in the form of carpets, better known as ‘war rugs’ evidence of one of one of these armies – the Soviet Army’s effect on the region. Weaved in wonderful colours, craftsmen use this age old tradition of carpet making to tell modern stories, and document the weapons and sometimes the effects of these weapons used during the nine-year conflict (1979-1988). Nowadays the carpets being weaved have images of American weapons such as M-16’s or Black-hawks. Some of the war rugs have a flower weaved amongst all the weapons as a sign of hope. Perhaps one day Afghanistan’s carpet weavers will go back to weaving just flowers, landscapes and beautiful patterns.
More on war rugs on this informative blog, click here