Accession card


This beautiful embroidery from Afghanistan is commonly done on velvet, in this case a soft royal blue fabric, that highlights the embroidery very well.

Crafts of Afghanistan, are a part of its heritage and of the identity of the makers - those who painstakingly, slowly, and with clever deliberate making produce the most gorgeous clothing and dress. I am placing this here, to help remind those who visit this page, of the beauty of Afghanistan. Whilst this latest war, was lost by NATO and its friends, a year ago, current news displaces the Afghans from our sight. We are geared to shake our heads, shrug or look away because we have heard this 'enough' and there is very little we can 'do'. But the ability to look away from everyday violence, and normalise it, is in direct proportiion to our privilege, and we should be aware of this at all times.

To those who imagine the nation as a physically destroyed space, who think of war and poverty only, when they hear of Afghanistan, and those who represent Afghanistan in stereotypical images of poverty/pain/barefoot children - remember this beauty, that is, and will continue to co-exist alongside the ugly conflict that continues. For there are always multiple narratives, and multi dimensional perspectives. As Roy says - 'To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strenght, never power. Above all to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never forget' - The Cost of Living, Arundhati Roy, 1999

This, for a nation, that has suffered. For those who make craft, use textiles, and understand processes and practices, and their inexplicable and intimate link to human existence. For my research colleagues and friends from Afghanistan, may your beauty, outlast the ugliness of the current time. 




2021 March 01



Credits / copyrights

Dr Neelam Raina

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Middlesex University London, London School of Economics




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