Just Write

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

Without words, without writing and without books
there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity.
– Hermann Hesse

Baluchistan, Pakistan

Writing  is one of the grand, free human activities.
–  Thomas E. Cronin

Yemen

Writing is both mask and unveiling.
– E.B. White

Mali

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
– William Wordsworth

Kegalla, Sri Lanka

 Burma

Writing is thinking on paper.
– William Zinsser

 Kabul, Afghanistan

The maker of a sentence launches out into the infinite…
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Honduras

Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted.
– Jules Renard, Journal, 10 April 1895

India

Like most—maybe all— writers, I learned to write by writing and,
by example, by
reading books.
– Francine Prose

Bruce Duffy, writer and author, working on an article for Life Magazine, Afghanistan

The pen is mightier than the sword.
– Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Dith Pran, survivor of Cambodia’s killing fields, photojournalist, and author of
Children of Cambodia’s Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors

Paul Theroux, writer and novelist, Costa Rica

Words so innocent and powerless as they are,
as standing in a dictionary, howpotent for good and evil
they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
– Nathaniel Hawthorne

Paraguay

Creative writing begins with creative thinking
– K. Earle

Colombia

Afghanistan

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.
– Vita Sackville-West

Thailand

Writing left by visitors to a pilgrimage site in Burma

Peru

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought,
this in turn makes
us think more deeply about life … 
– Norbet Platt

Young Sikh boys in classroom, Afghanistan

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the
difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
– Mark Twain

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.