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Hartford Courant - Hartford, Conn.
Author: Cho, Jenna||||||COURANT STAFF WRITER
Date: Nov 19, 2004
Start Page: H.1
Section: AT HOME
Abstract (Document Summary)

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, New Yorkers on a stroll by the P.S. 321 Park Slope flea market are startled by a pair of rugs flung casually over a fence surrounding the public school playground. * "I'm a little taken aback by it," a passerby says as he pauses to examine one of the rugs. * "That's not an uncommon reaction," says Kevin Sudeith, 39, the vendor. *Owner of, Sudeith is accustomed to taking people by surprise with his Afghan war rugs. Typically woven by Afghan women, these rugs incorporate war imagery, ranging from subtle patterns of tanks and hand grenades to more explicit imagery of the World Trade Center under attack. * In the rugs drawing attention at the flea market, passenger airplanes can be seen heading toward the twin towers, with vivid explosions where they will hit. Under each plane are neat labels: "first impact," and "second impact." People are falling from the towers. * After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, weavers began replacing traditional images of flowers, birds and goats with fighter planes, helicopters and AK-47s. The women wove what they saw in their world, a world so war-ridden that they were able to weave accurate images of weapons into their rugs, Sudeith explains. * "The war rugs in particular are the only means of expression that the weavers have," Sudeith says. "The Afghan women are the poster women of gender oppression in the world." *

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