TEXTILIANS OF SANTA FE, an unofficial group of textile lovers, makers and collectors, is sponsoring an upcoming talk at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28 by Mary Littrell about her recently published book, co-authored with Rangina Hamidi, Embroidering within Boundaries.
The talk is open to the public, and at the Wheelwright Museum Library Building, at 704 Camino Lejo on Museum Hill, with a small $5 entry fee, to help defray expenses.
Mary Littrell, Professor and Department Head Emerita of Design and Merchandising at Colorado State University, will talk about how the revival of khamak embroidery in Afghanistan is helping women broaden the boundaries of their lives in a country torn by war for more than 25 years. The book tells the story of Rangina’s life as a refugee to the United States, her return to Afghanistan after 2011 to rebuild her country, and Kandahar Treasure, the women’s social enterprise she founded. Mary will share her experiences with the women in Kandahar as they told their personal accounts of tragedy, widowhood, and emerging empowerment.
Mary is also a research associate at the Museum of International Folk Art, and chair of the Artist Selection Committee for the International Folk Art Market-Santa Fe. Many of us have seen Rangina and Kandahar Treasures at the International Folk Art Market, and will appreciate the chance to learn how these exquisite embroideries made their way from Kabul to Santa Fe.
Copies of Embroidering within Boundaries: Afghan Women Creating a Future will be available for sale and signing by the co-author, Mary Littrell.
One review from Amazon about the book:
“In a world where we probably all need to spend more time understanding people whose lives are different than our own, this is an important book. Co-written by the founder of a women’s embroidery project in Kandahar, Afghanistan and an American writer, and embellished with beautiful photos, this is an intense story. Like most people, I knew Afghanistan has a lot of mountains, and wars and a very traditional culture, but I didn’t know much more. While I found this book painful because women’s lives there are so incredibly restricted by law and tradition, it is also a hopeful book about resilience and consciousness raising and women’s power. It is a book about incredibly detailed embroidery that I may have seen in Afgani clothing, but certainly never examined nor thought about the process involved in designing and embroidering these elaborate and demanding patterns.
“Highly recommended for people who love beautiful textiles, those who care about women’s empowerment, and anyone who wants to learn about a society where the US has been so involved for decades but about which most of us know so little.” (from a “Verified Purchaser”)