Author Archives: Steve McCurry

COLORS OF ETHIOPIA

Ours Time-old Highland of highlands Ancient Where all history ends Where all rainbows meet… Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin Poet Laureate of Ethiopia 1936 – 2006 I knew that the English regarded themselves as civilized,   but it seemed to me that in many ways Ethiopia was a far more civilized place. Catherine Hamlin, M.D. in The Hospital by the River : A Story Of Hope Founder with her husband of Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital  Ethiopia confounds every expectation.  You arrive expecting a vast featureless desert and instead find yourself overwhelmed by majestic landscapes and climatic abundance. Ethiopia is a true revelation. It is…

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Colors of Cuba

Cuba is tempting and provocative – full of contradictions and not always easy to understand. It is a country full of culture, music, history and passion. - Selected Moments Prepare yourself to be shocked, perplexed, confounded and amazed. Cuba is a country with no historical precedents: economically poor, but culturally rich; visibly mildewed, but architecturally magnificent; infuriating, yet at the same time, strangely uplifting. Following quotes by Brendan Sainsbury, Lonely Planet If the country were a book, it would be James Joyce’s Ulysses; layered, hard to grasp, serially misunderstood, but – above all – a classic. I love Cuba because…

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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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