James Crowden, 1 April 2021, 14.00
A terrifying yarn about the geopolitics of carpet making, from the burning of Smyrna in 1922 to Partition in Amritsar in 1947, via Athens, Leeds, Vichy France, Tabriz, Kerman… and Dorset. The view from one Greek/French/British family involved up to the neck for over 120 years.
James Crowden is an author and poet living in Somerset. Born in Plymouth in 1954, he was raised on the western edge of Dartmoor. In 1972 he joined the army and served in Cyprus traveling widely in Eastern Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and north west India. In 1976-77 he spent a winter on the northern side of the Himalaya, in the remote Zangskar Valley in Ladakh. It was from this experience that he developed a lifelong interest in agriculture and Buddhism. James has a degree in Civil Engineering from Bristol University and later studied ethnology at Magdalen College, Oxford and the Pitt Rivers Museum. At the age of 21 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
The Moderator for this talk will be Antony Wynn, author of Three Camels to Smyrna, the history of the Oriental Carpet Manufacturers, for which he worked as a buyer in Iran in the 1970s.