"lost childhood" (2019) by Laura GuildA

 (54 x 35 x 39 cm)

is a sculpture made out of a children's chair. A beige cotton warp thread was mounted on its wooden bamboo frame to weave the story of Kamala Lama. On a natural-coloured ribbon band is inscribed:


Kamala Lama was six

when she started working 

in a carpet factory

in Kathmandu in Nepal.

She was used to wake up

every day before dawn

to spin wool and knot

and weave all day

till eight at night.

Her hands were cut

by the wool

and did not heal anymore.

When she was

nine years old

she was rescued 

by child rights activists

and taken to a

rehabilitation centre.



This work was exhibited at the 4th edition of "Tramanda, Biennale di Trame d"Autore" of the city of Chieri, Italy. It was part of the "Young Fiber Contest" and received an honorable mention by the jury in the catalogue.

The exhibition was hold from the 11th of May to the 30th of June 2019 at Imbiancheria del Vajro.

It is the result of my research on the illegal child-labor in the rug making industry. The text is based on a true story.

By the age of six, Kamala Lama was forced to work along side her mother and sister in a carpet factory that lacked any sort of reasonable social or economical welfare for its employees, with exaggerated working hours and no medical care.

She was rescued in 1997 by the foundation Rugmark, otherwise known as GoodWeave International. The non-governmental organization is dedicated to ending illegal child labor in the carpet industry and has rescued hundreds of children like her in Nepal, India and Pakistan. 

Kamala, like many young girls her age spent three years of her childhood exploited by a system that has allowed unbearable working environments that exist in the rug making industry to continue.


The little girl spent three years of her childhood suffering in a working environment which is already unbearable for adults.


photos by Eleonora Gugliotta