Four glass bead knitting, 2009
Kamanger’s works combine traditional Central Asian craft skills with modern themes. He presents four beadworks made using a traditional Kurdish technique. The work consists of four pieces: an Iranian passport, an alien’s passport, a travel document, and a Finnish passport. Kamanger himself has had all the passports featured in the piece except for a Finnish passport. A Finnish passport has a reputation of being a “good passport” that will get you into any country. For many Finns, this “good passport” is a given. As an Iranian Kurd, Kamanger is experienced in these things, because he arrived in Finland over 15 years ago as a political refugee. He has seen in practice the difference that travelling with different passports can make.
The title of the serial piece, Fake Passports are Always Handicraft, too, makes an amusing reference to traditional handicraft techniques. Counterfeiting travel documents is a craft that is becoming increasingly difficult because of the use of modern technologies. Which is the greater consequence of the authorities’ development work, the safety or the obstruction of movement?