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Unravelling the Silk Road:

Travels and Textiles in Central Asia

Aslan Alexander Christopher


Editeur - Casa editrice

Icon Books

Asia
Asia Centrale
Uzbekistan


Anno - Date de Parution

2023

Pagine - Pages

320

Lingua - language - langue

Eng


Unravelling the Silk Road: Unravelling the Silk Road:  

Anni fa, preparando il viaggio Sulle orme di Tamerlano, mi incuriosì il titolo A Carpet Ride to Khiva, Seven Years on the Silk Road di Alexander Christopher Aslan.Pensavo che fosse l'ennesimo diario di uno scappato di casa attratto dall'Oriente. Ma in quarta di copertina scoprii che l’autore aveva vissuto sette anni a Khiva per avviare il centro di lavorazione dei tappeti sostenuto dall’UNESCO. Il corposo volume si rivelò una piacevole lettura, indispensabile per chiunque desideri comprendere la cultura, le tradizioni, le superstizioni e le peculiarità del popolo uzbeko. Dopo aver vissuto e lavorato quindici anni nella region, Chris Aslan (con l'età il nome si è accordicato) pubblica Unravelling the Silk Road: Travels and Textiles in Central Asia e dipana abilmente i fili di questa storia intricata e li ricama con le sue esperienze di vita nel cuore dell'Asia.
Lana, cotone e seta hanno svolto un ruolo cruciale nelle fortune dell'Asia centrale. Dedicando un capitolo a ciascun tessuto, esploriamo il loro impatto sulla storia, l'economia, la geografia, la politica e, ovviamente, la moda dell'Asia centrale e del resto del mondo.
La lana creò i vestiti e le abitazioni necessarie alle grandi culture nomadi che avrebbero dominato l'Asia centrale.
La seta era più preziosa dell’oro e veniva utilizzata come moneta, creando una rete di rotte commerciali che portarono al primo scoppio della globalizzazione.
Il cotone fu la causa della colonizzazione russa e poi sovietica e continua a causare controversie oggi così come la miseria umana e la catastrofe ambientale.
I feltri, i tappeti, i ricami, le vesti e i veli della Via della Seta stratificarono la ricchezza, mostrarono trinceramenti religiosi e politici e cambiarono le sorti di questa affascinante parte del mondo; un luogo d'incontro tra Maometto e Marx.


Veteran traveler and textile expert Chris Aslan explores the Silk, Wool and Cotton Roads of Central Asia

Three textile roads tangle their way through Central Asia. The famous Silk Road united east and west through trade. Older still was the Wool Road, of critical importance when houses made from wool enabled nomads to traverse the inhospitable winter steppes. Then there was the Cotton Road, marked by greed, colonialism and environmental disaster.
At this intersection of human history, fortunes were made and lost through shimmering silks, life-giving felts and gossamer cottons. Chris Aslan, who has spent fifteen years living and working in the region, expertly unravels the strands of this tangled history and embroiders them with his own experiences of life in the heart of Asia.

Wool, cotton and silk have each played a crucial role in the fortunes of Central Asia.
Devoting an hour to each textile, we will explore their impact on the history, economy, geography, politics and, of course, fashions of Central Asia and the wider world.
Wool created the clothing and housing needed by the great nomadic cultures that were to dominate Middle Asia.
Silk was more valuable than gold and used as currency, creating a network of trading routes that led to the first outbreak of globalisation.
Cotton was the cause of Russian and then Soviet Colonisation and continues to cause controversy today as well as human misery and environmental catastrophe
The felts, carpets, embroideries, robes and veils of the Silk Road stratified wealth, displayed religious and political entrenchments and changed the fortunes of this fascinating part of the world; a meeting place between Mohammed and Marx.

 



Biografia

Aslan Alexander Christopher

Chris Aslan was born in Turkey and spent his childhood there and in war-torn Beirut. After school, Chris spent two years at sea before studying Media and journalism at Leicester University. He then moved to Khiva, a desert oasis in Uzbekistan, establishing a UNESCO workshop reviving fifteenth century carpet designs and embroideries, and becoming the largest non-government employer in town. He was kicked out as part of an anti-Western purge, and took a year in Cambridge to write A Carpet Ride to Khiva. Chris then spent several years in the Pamirs mountains of Tajikistan, training yak herders to comb their yaks for their cashmere-like down. Next came a couple more years in Kyrgyzstan living in the world’s largest natural walnut forest and establishing a wood-carving workshop. Since then, Chris has studied and rowed at Oxford, lives in Cambridge, and is preparing to move to North Cyprus. As well as writing fiction and non-fiction, Chris lectures for the Art Society and leads tours with Indus Experiences to Central Asia, having left a large chunk of his heart out there.
He can be found on instagram: #chrisaslanauthor
Facebook: chris aslan

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