Watch the short film at:https://youtu.be/EqbNBf-gCH8
Four interviews illuminate the beauty and struggle which traditional carpet weaving faces today in Kerman, Iran.
While the retired Abol Hadi still weaves out of passion, a group of women on the edge of the desert weave to survive, earning less than 1 US dollar per day. In a posh retail store, Mr. Mohammad Heravi sells finished carpets but only a few blocks away, antique weaving equipment sits collecting dust at the Kerman Carpet Company.
Watch the full, unedited interviews here: youtu.be/LUk7T-DReh8
An especially huge thanks to these lovely people who helped translate the interviews from Farsi into English: Faly Golshan, Amjad Nezami, Azadeh Nigjeh, Farid Rostami, and Sean PI Stewart. Without them giving freely of their time and talents, this video wouldn't have been possible.
The amazing musician featured here is Ali Ahangaran. You can download for free this concert here: oxlaey.bandcamp.com/album/desert-songs-from-the-film-bam-...
A SPECIAL THANKS to Mr. Ebrahim Alavi and Mr. Amjad Nezami and the Kerman Chamber of Commerce who supported the filming in November 2014.
Zarin Panjeh Carpet Company
Telephone Number: +98 (0) 913660 2771
Kerman Chamber of Commerce
Telephone Number: +98 (0) 913 341 2370
Because machine-made carpets are so much cheaper to manufacture, demand for hand-woven carpets has fallen. With this decline, the ancient skill of weaving carpets by hand is slowly dying out.
After retiring from the Kerman Carpet Company as a technical carpet inspector, the 72-year old Abol Hadi has started work on one last, giant tapestry. “Most professionals don’t believe that this carpet has two knots per millimeter. But when I sit here it’s just me, this flower, and this carpet - Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do this”.
For a group of women living on the edge of the desert, weaving is a way out of poverty. They earn 25,000 Toman, less than 1 US dollar, per day. “It’s enough to support their families”, says Mr. Afzalinejad, who manages a number of carpet workshops in villages around Kerman. “Without this money they’d starve,” he says.
Mr. Heravi buys and commissions hand-woven carpets exclusively from local Kerman weavers. His up-scale shop in the center of town is layered with carpets showing rural motives, designs traditionally seen in carpets crafted in and around Kerman.
A few streets away is the once mighty Kerman Carpet Company. 100 years ago the factory belonged to the British East India Company. Now, antique, steam-driven machines gather dust in the warehouse. The Kerman Carpet Company retains a skeleton crew, hand-weaving primarily for the export market, but due to cost-cutting measures, they had to let many weavers go.