A Carpet, Extract 2

Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige

A Carpet, Extract 2, 2017

Video, 2'14"

The three excerpts can be viewed in any order.

This short video and found footage are part of the artists’ wider project entitled A Carpet, which tells the story of a group of young Armenian girls most of whom were survivors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. During the 1920s, following the atrocity, the girls began producing carpets at an orphanage workshop in Lebanon. As a token of gratitude to the American Near East Relief for their support of the workshop, they gifted the White House and President Coolidge, one of the largest woven carpets they had produced, which had been created by over 400 girls and was approximately 5.5 by 3 metres. This carpet is still in the collection at the White House today, however it is rarely shown. Many of the descendants of the survivors went on to be involved in the Lebanese space race, a serious and scientific space project. Between 1960 and 1967 more than ten rockets, named Cedar, were launched, before the project was stopped and then completely forgotten about until it was highlighted by the artists in their ongoing project, The Lebanese Rocket Society. The Cedar IV Rocket national stamp, which was issued in 1964, is featured on A Carpet. The carpet was woven by hand in Armenia using traditional techniques, as a sign of gratitude and as a tribute to those orphans and to their descendants – the dreamers of the space project. By weaving together these two stories, the project memorialises a critical moment in time for the Armenian diaspora, the dream and faith of the ‘60s and the changes that occurred in the region.  

Courtesy of the Artist and The Third Line (Dubai) Galerie In Situ Fanienne Leclerc (Paris)