Najibullah in a Soviet pincer movement, 1987
About the object
Against the background of a map of Afghanistan and neighbouring states, the large rug depicts scenes from the Soviet- Afghan War (1979-1989) in a narrative style. The image in the centre -President Najibullah, his head forced down by a hammer and sickle - derives from a caricature that the person commissioning the rug had seen in a resistance newspaper.
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At the top we see the apparatus of war and soldiers, whereas at the bottom there are helicopters and a caravan of camels and refugees. The other motifs are similar to war rugs, which were woven from the early 1980s and bought mainly by members of the Soviet army, the Mujahedeen and relief organisations, as well as dealers, reporters and collectors. The museum acquired 14 war carpets from M. Farhatjar in 1994 and displayed them in the exhibition »Afghanistan. War and everyday life«. Author: Eva Gerhards, Translation: Timothy Connell