Mersamen, the nephew of the famous Taliban leader, from Tora Bora, came back to day to the Yellow House. He brought his father who is a serious Taliban but not as famous as his brother. I had told Mersamen he could stay and learn about art and filmmaking at the Yellow House. This was after he got the bad news about being blind in one eye .
Mersamen had helped us to set up the tent for the Cinema Circus at Tora Bora but remained there when we left. They arrived when we were all painting out on the studio stage in the garden . Both got involved pretty quickly and were happy to see us using traditional not figurative subjects and using the very old wooden stamps . I suggested that they start making traditional art at Tora Bora and stop fighting the Americans on behalf of the Taliban. They agreed it would be a better idea and we are going to work on it. I have a lot of ideas for traditional arts and crafts they could make and sell internationally. Today was a continuing of the growing alliance we are establishing between the Yellow House and Tora Bora.
I had a very old bronze buddah on the table where I was working. I use it as an inspiration. Suddenly Mersamen’s father was pointing at it and obviously it had his attention. I thought things may be going wrong as the Taliban are notorious for being against what they see as idol worship with Buddhist statues etc. But ,like so many things here ,his interest lead to an unexpected revelation. He told me they had some Buddahs at Tora Bora and they were hidden away and their village had protected them. I will be very interested to see these Buddahs that have managed to survive at Tora Bora. That will be at the top of my list to investigate on my next trip there.