Author Archives: Steve McCurry

Colors of Afghanistan

  “A landscape might be denuded, a human settlement abandoned or lost, but always, just beneath the ground lies history of preposterous grandeur. . . They are everywhere, these individuals of undaunted humankind, irrepressibly optimistic and proud. - The Carpet Wars, Christopher Kremmer  Band-e-Amir  Kabul If my heart trembles for Kabul, it’s for the slow step of summer noons, siestas in my father’s house which, heavy with mid-day sleep, still weighs on my ribs… It’s for the hawker’s cry of the vegetable seller doing his rounds, lost in my neighbours’ troubled dreams, that my heart’s trembling. – Shakila Azizzda  Bamiyan Pul-e-Khumri  Yet even at…

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Behind Closed Doors

The women came from different countries with the same dream: to leave behind the poverty of their villages. But instead of working as domestic help, they found themselves in a kind of prison, employed by people who treated them like something less than human. One was stabbed with a knife, another doused in boiling water, another raped and jailed. Steve McCurry, best known for his work in war-torn countries like Afghanistan,  documented the suffering of women from Indonesia, Nepal and the Philippines who endured a myriad of abuses while working for families elsewhere in Asia and the Middle East. “They’re…

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Language of Hands

Behold the hands how they promise, conjure, appeal, menace, pray, supplicate, refuse, beckon, interrogate, admire, confess, cringe, instruct, command,  mock and what not besides, with a variation and multiplication of variation which makes the tongue envious. – Michel de Montaigne Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan Bamiyan, Afghanistan Havana, Cuba Author Mary Brown Ward, Alabama, United States The hands which beckon, embrace, soothe, and comfort us Bid us farewell. Russia United States Hands calm us, feed us, and scratch our backs. They intimidate, bless, encourage, and stop us.  They soothe and caress. They draw our attention to the good and the bad, often suggesting…

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Step by Step

Walking . . . is how the body measures itself against the earth. - Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking New York Paraguay Pakistan India Solvitur ambulando (To solve a problem, walk around) - St. Jerome Bangladesh Afghanistan Nepal Tibet There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country.  A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo.  - Paul Scott Mowrer Vietnam Italy Brazil Architecture limits where one can walk, but the walker invents other ways to go. – Rebecca Solnit Croatia   Thailand In every walk…

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Power of Two

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. - Ecclesiastes 4 Jodhpur, India Istanbul, Turkey Shanghai, China One’s not half of two; two are halves of one. - e.e. cummings Afghanistan Lourdes, France Grow old along with me The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, not be afraid! - Robert Browning Macedonia Spain Tibet The…

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Eye Witness

 Eyes speak a universal language, and no interpreter is needed. India Where words are restrained, the eyes often talk a great deal. - Samuel Richardson Italy Her eyes are homes of silent prayers. - Lord Alfred Tennyson Yemen Eyes are more accurate witnesses than ears. - Heraclitus of Ephesus, 535 – c. 475 BCE Afghanistan   Ethiopia The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and the eyes mark its intentions. - Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106 – 43 BCE Afghanistan The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul. - Ralph Waldo Emerson Mali Tibet The face is the mirror of the mind,…

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