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

AFGHN-12074NF Band-e-Amir

AFGHN-10149 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

AFGHN-12772 Bamiyan

AFGHN-12348Pul-e-Khumri

 Yet even at their most turbulent, the Afghans have tended to impress
travellers with
their dignity and hospitality as much as their fierce independence.
– William Dalrymple,  author of Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan 1839–42

AFGHN-10135 Kabul

01809_07_es Mazar-e-Sharif

AFGHN-12373NFBamiyan

AFGHN-12883Afghanistan/Pakistan border

AFGHN-12819, Qala-e-Sabzi, Afghanistan, 2007. Donkeys grazing in fields. Qala-e-Sabzi

AFGHN-10124Herat

In Afghanistan, you don’t understand yourself solely as an individual.
You understand yourself as a son, a brother, a cousin to somebody,
an uncle to somebody.
You are part of something bigger than yourself.
– Khaled Hosseini

AFGHN-10130Kandahar

AFGHN-12206NF7Kabul

Kabul
Every street of Kabul is enthralling to the eye
Through the bazaars, caravans of Egypt pass
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.
– Saeb-e-Tabrizik
Translation by Josephine Davis

AFGHN-10128Kabul

HazarasBamiyan Province

AFGHN-10227Jabal Siraj

God must have loved Afghans because he made them so beautiful.
– Unknown

Girl praying at a Shia mosque, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2003, final book_iconicKabul

AFGHN-13027Afghanistan/Pakistan border

AFGHN-12350Maimana

 

Steve McCurry Retrospective
Villa Reale di Monza
Monza, Italy
October 30, 2014 – April 6, 2015

 

Finding the Sublime
CT Gallery
112, rue Saint-François
74120 Megève
France
December 16, 2014 – February 8, 2015

http://instagram.com/stevemccurryofficial

 


About the author

Steve McCurry has been a one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than 30 years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

Born in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; McCurry studied film at Pennsylvania State University, before going on to work for a local newspaper. After several years of freelance work, McCurry made his first of what would become many trips to India. Traveling with little more than a bag of clothes and another of film, he made his way across the subcontinent, exploring the country with his camera.

It was after several months of travel that he found himself crossing the border into Pakistan. There, he met a group of refugees from Afghanistan, who smuggled him across the border into their country, just as the Russian Invasion was closing the country to all western journalists. Emerging in traditional dress, with full beard and weather-worn features after weeks embedded with the Mujahideen, McCurry brought the world the first images of the conflict in Afghanistan, putting a human face to the issue on every masthead.

Since then, McCurry has gone on to create stunning images over six continents and countless countries. His work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike - yet always retains the human element that made his celebrated image of the Afghan Girl such a powerful image.

McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest, to name a few.