This past summer, we had two opportunities to visit the Turquoise Mountain Exhibit at the Freer Sackler Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. A group of DC students was able to go to the exhibit on May 14 and a group from New York was able to go on August 13. On both occasions, groups of our students met artists from Afghanistan and learned about how their art helps to revive Afghan culture. Turquoise Mountain is a school in Afghanistan that was created in 2006 and aims to pass along skills from traditional artisans to younger generations. The mission of Turquoise Mountain is to rebuild much of the traditional artwork that was lost during violence in Afghanistan. More broadly, we learned that an unexpected solution (in this case, art as a means to rebuild a country post-war) can have a significant impact in the economy, culture, and morale of a community.
The trips were planned through collaboration between our New York and Washington, DC chapters. We would especially like to thank Tommy Wide, who is the main curator from Turquoise Mountain, for taking us on a tour of the exhibit, and Jess Hao, a Project Rousseau employee who led the planning of both trips.