Images are copyright of NATO TV.
Traditional Afghan pottery has been made in the village of Istalif for over 1400 years using the same traditional methods. Its craftsmen believe that their craft arrived in Afghanistan with Alexander the Great and that their techniques have changed little since then.
But history has not been kind to Istalif’s artisans. The civil war found the small village on the front line of the battle between rival militant groups, trying to capture nearby Kabul from the Taliban. The fighting almost destroyed the village and it’s kilns that had already been pounded by Soviet airstrikes.
Today the Turquoise Mountain Foundation is seeking to preserve the skills of Istalif’s ceramics masters. They have established a ceramic’s school in Kabul’s Murad Khane district and have produced 33 master potters.