Virtual Tour of ‘Tensile Strength – Weavers and War’

Virtual Tour of ‘Tensile Strength – Weavers and War’

September 9, 2021 12:00 pm

Event Details

Join Michele Hardy and Kawa Aahangar for a virtual tour of Tensile Strength: Weavers and War, an exhibition currently on view at Founders Gallery, The Military Museums, Calgary.

The exhibitions draws on Nickle Galleries’ extensive holdings of Asian carpets and textiles and features contemporary carpets woven by Afghan weavers.  These unsettling textiles first appeared after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, when Afghan weavers started experimenting with novel carpet motifs. Instead of traditional geometric designs, rug makers began incorporating guns, tanks, landmines, and aircraft.

Although war rugs may be known best for depicting weaponry and violence, Tensile Strength also includes weavings of celebrated figures, places, and scenes from epic tales suggesting a different, possibly more local audience. Examples include archaeological sites, modern cityscapes and a tribute in honour of the late Afghan hero, Ahmad Shah Massoud.

Kawa Aahangar graduated from the Faculty of Political Science of Kabul University. He has worked as a journalist, a public outreach advisor for the Election Commission of Afghanistan and, for the past two decades, has been involved in civil society, political parties and free media strengthening projects in Afghanistan  He has authored books about Islam and Elections and co-authored A Handbook for Women’s Rights Advocates.

Michele Hardy is a curator with Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary, trained as an anthropologist and is an occasional textile maker.

This will be a free, ONLINE event.


Meeting ID: 914 5148 2996

Passcode: Nickle

Herat Citadel, circa 2000, Afghanistan, Gift of Robert Fyke, Collection of Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary.


Amanullah Khan Rug with Trucks and Tanks, circa 2000, Afghanistan. Gift of Max Allen, Collection of Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary.