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Published on Jun 20, 2012
One of the things that define Iran and the Iranian culture is the hundreds of art forms that its people have created and mastered and passed down the ages. It encompasses many different disciplines, from the more world renowned like carpet weaving and khatam woodcrafts, to metalwork and stonemasonry. Persian art is known for its vibrant colors, from pomegranate red, to turquoise and navy, and is best recognized by the symmetric patterns that dominate it. For centuries, Iranians have used their art as a form of self expression, and a source of income. For thousands of years the carpet loom has had pride of place in Iranian homes, especially in villages and small comminutes.
The empty hours of the day were dedicated to weaving, and when the carpet was sold, it gave the family an economic boost. But in the present day, Iranian handicrafts are taking a beating. Some have died out, and others are in danger of extinction. One reason for this is the drop in demand. Decorative objects crafted by hand are expensive. Sales inside and outside Iran is suffering as a result of the 20th century's love affair with cheap and cheerful goods that can be replaced regularly. Chinese goods have flooded the global market, not just Iran's; economic sanctions imposed by Western nations have stunted Iran's handicraft exports, and although Iranians have an undying love for their handicrafts, economic strife often prevents them from purchasing them.
In this edition of the show we will delve deeper into the world of Persian arts and their survival.