Steve McCurry

“If anyone were entitled to feel weary of the world, it might be a photographer who had traveled the breadth of it for decades; who’d brought news of one war then watched it turn into another close to home; whose caught the wild fear in strangers’ eyes and devastation on the ground; who’d seen the history repeat and subvert itself.” This introduction statement to the article shapes it as a whole in analyzing the danger but curiosity that surrounds photographing war.  Among photographers, Steve McCurry’s photographs dating back to the seventies in Afghanistan are some of the most provocative war photographs today.

Steve first went there in 1979 after leaving his job writing the newspaper in Philadelphia where he would meet someone in Pakistan who wanted to show him what was really happening across the border.  “When i went into Afghanistan the first time what i saw were people being killed and villages being destroyed.  McCurry recounts this to the author and talks about how people in Pakistan were in fear and everything was coming apart to the point where they were going to need to leave their home. Now that McCurry recounts his experience he talks about how there’s always been war, but during the time in the 60’s and 70’s when he originally arrived there, it was possible to walk around the streets without the fear of blowing up at any time.  He talks about how the government has been wasting billions of dollars that could have been used for health and education anywhere, and that we could change this place and make it more peaceful.

One image that McCurry is most well known for his his image of an Afghan girl that appeared on the front of National Geographic.  The image is striking, the girl with dark skin and bright green eyes looking extremely nervous.  The image was thought to be too stark and for the cover of national geographic something more friendly should have been displayed, but eventually it would become the first page of the article and become one of the most well recognized photos in modern history.


Steve McCurry. (Accessed April 27, 2017)


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