Afghan war rugs Traditional rug-making techniques meet contemporary political imagery. See also the 'Rugs of War' project.
Golden Buddha, Hidden Copper. "Twelve years after the Taliban blew up the world-famous Bamiyan Buddhas, a Chinese mining firm -- developing one of the world's largest copper deposits -- threatens to destroy another of Afghanistan's archeological treasures." Campaign to Save Mes Aynak.
Trevor Paglen (aka Agent Plorver) has work featured in Belgium's z33 House for Contemporary Art's current exhibit, Architecture of Fear. Paglen's work includes tracking and photographing 189 classified American satellites in orbit around Earth as well as locating and photographing US-run 'black sites' in Afghanistan. We Make Money Not Art (previously w/r/t Architecture of Fear) sits down with Paglen over Skype for an interview.
Throughout time immemorial, songs of patriotism, such as Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten?" are a staple of countries at war. Our ballads root for our soldiers to come back safe and sound to families and sweethearts, but who sings the tale about the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, the autonomous drone that pines for the vending machine it left at home? Only the evil ghost of Johnny Cash does. [more inside]
Weavings of War: Fabrics of Memory, an online exhibit of comtemporary textiles created (mostly) by women living in war zones.
Ancient Buddhist Paintings From Bamiyan Were Made Of Oil, Hundreds Of Years Before Technique Was 'Invented' In Europe. [Via MonkeyFilter.] [more inside]
"My name is Captain Doug MacNair, I coordinate the media embedding program from a desk here in Ottawa... I have embedded more than 250 journalists in our program, and no embed has given me more personal satisfaction than yours... Thanks for being handy with a pencil and a piece of paper. Thanks for writing so well about the things that are hard to draw. Thanks for leaving your family to do an important job. I know how that feels and it’s never easy. Most of all Richard, thanks for risking your life while you do all those things." Q&A with Richard Johnson. Via.
Legend has it the people of Nuristan, Kalash and Chitral are descended from deserters who stayed behind after Greek Emperor Alexander the Great’s army passed through the area more than 2,000 years ago, and for centuries they lived in splendid isolation. It was in this region that the first images of the Buddha were created. [more inside]
Images of Afghanistan, 1976-78. A good range.
Looking Through a Child's Eyes. The historical children's art collection at the very well maintained Papa Ink : the International Gallery of Children's Art features child drawings from many relevant events. Some of particular interest are Witness to Genocide: Children of Rwanda, holocaust drawings from the Jewish Ghetto in Terezin, treatment of women under the Taliban in Afganistan, and remnants from medieval Russia from a boy named Onfim.
In other news, Humpty Dumpty put back together again.
The Taliban's war on art extended beyond merely blowing apart the two monumental Buddhist statues. Here's a nice little piece about a wrecking party at the Kabul Museum of Art lead by the Taliban Ministers of Information and Finance. Their acts of barbarism against women and people who failed to live up to their religious code was unspeakable, but IMHO this willful destruction of art is also worthy of condemnation. This is nothing less than the destruction of a people's culture.