||War and Grace
Magnum photographer Steve McCurry?s Afghanistan retrospective
Afghanistan is a country overwhelmed by tribal rivalries, colonial wars, and
geo-political conflict. The Afghans have always called their mountains ?the land of
Yet born of such chaos, such entrenched conflict, are these most breathtaking and
beautiful of images. The distinguished American photographer Steve McCurry has
traveled to Afghanistan regularly for more than 40 years: he is one of the most
accomplished photographers to work in the region.
His famous 1984 portrait Afghan Girl?sad and haunting, but at the same time
evoking remarkable grace and dignity?published on the covers of magazines around
the world is certainly his single most striking portrait. In common with so much of
McCurry?s work, it has a timeless, painterly quality?entirely at odds with the
battle-torn backdrop of the region in which it was taken.
Steve McCurry has always been subjected to the same dangers that are an inevitable
part of life ?on the road? for photographers. He has often ventured behind the lines,
usually at great risk; his first assignment in Afghanistan in 1979 involved him
dressing in Afghan robes in order to be smuggled across the border from Pakistan.
That journey, into the treacherous, unpredictable landscape?territory controlled at
various times by the Mujahideen, the Russians, and the Taliban?was one that
McCurry would make many times. Many other photographers would follow in his
footsteps, but none would return with such a flawless body of work.
Steve McCurry was born in Philadelphia, PA, and has been one of the most iconic
voices in contemporary photography for more than forty years, with scores of magazine
and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his
name. After numerous travels throughout India, the Middle East and Afghanistan, he
founded ImagineAsia in 2004, with the mission to help provide educational resources
and opportunities to children and young adults in Afghanistan.
26.7 x 37 cm (10.5 x 14.6 in.),
English, French, German)