Every now and then a short video or article pops up on our newsfeed which tells a captivating story about Afghanistan or Syria that has nothing to do with war. For a couple of minutes we are reminded that countries like Afghanistan and Syria are home to talented, energetic people whose lives are not solely defined by the circumstances of the country in which they live. It’s a nice reminder, but we return to our day, forgetting about what we watched or read shortly after.
We often hear how art and media has the power to change the way we think, but we rarely here about the power of beautiful objects. We strongly believe that luxury craftsmanship has equal if not more power than traditional journalism to tell stories which inform, surprise and inspire.
Whether drinking a cocktail from beautiful hand-blown glass from Herat, or walking barefoot on a finely woven Afghan carpet, each compliment received, each use enjoyed, is a daily reminder that Afghanistan – and countries like it – have so much more to them than the war and poverty we are so used to hearing about.
When you buy a purely handmade object a direct link is established between yourself and the maker. The product you hold in your hands, has been held in theirs. In a way no factory made product can, handmade objects remind us of our shared humanity.
With more refugees from countries such as Afghanistan and Syria reaching Europe’s shores everyday, and friction between new arrivals and host populations mounting – forming new connections and understanding has never been more important.