In search of handwoven kilims, I came to Ghalam-Abad, a tiny dusty village 50 kilometers outside Sabzevar, in northeast Iran, not from the ancient Silk Road. I found the kilims and kind hospitable people, but we also found a lot of cheap Chinese knickknacks and villagers crazy about Korean soaps they watch on satellite television. It was a stunning example of globalization’s transformation of even the remotest locations. The women dragged out their indigenous clothing and modeled for us, next to the plastic palms and glossy pictures of Korean soap stars, making the scene even more bizarre. The idyllic village you see in photo books and travel brochures? It no longer exists.
Nikon D90, 18-200mm DX zoom, SB-600 strobe.
Ghalam Abad is not Google Maps. The closest city is Sabzevar.