Archive for November, 2009

The Path to Buddha

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2009 by stevemccurry

I am often asked about which countries I enjoy photographing the most.  That’s very hard to answer, but I do enjoy going back again and again to Buddhist countries, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Bhutan, Tibet, Sri Lanka, and Burma.

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Buddha statue in Mandalay, Burma, 2008

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Monk at the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet, 2000

The ethics and the aesthetics of Buddhism are melded in a unique way. The vivid color of robes and sacred places contrast with the monochromatic tradition I grew up with.

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Young monks play with computer games in Sera Monastery in Bylakuppe, India, 2001

Every time I have visited a Buddhist monastery, I have seen a playfulness among the monks, a joy in the way they conduct themselves and the way they interact with each other.

Young nun, Rangoon, BURMA-10013NF2, Burma/Myanmar, 1994

Young nun, Rangoon, Burma, 1994

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Monks in the Rain, Angkor Wat, Cambodia, 1999

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A monk studies Buddhist scripture in the late afternoon at a monastery in Aranyaprathet, Thailand, 1996

As I photographed the picture of the monk and the cat in a monastery in Thailand, it occured to me that all the qualities that I observed – contemplation, serenity, meditation – are ones that are antithetical to the hard-charging, ladder-climbing Western culture.

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Young monks study Buddhist scripture at a monastery in Litang, Kham, Tibet, 1999

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Pilgrim praying at the Buddhist academy of Larung Gar, near Serthar, Kham, Tibet, 2001

The Monks have a way of taking something we could consider mundane, and transform it into something sacred.

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Candles are a form of offering at the Tibetan Prayer Festival, during which thousands are lit under the Bodi tree. Bodh Gaya, India, 2000

Monasteries have always been places of refuge for people and animals who have no other place to go.  Monks will share whatever they have, no matter how small.

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Woman meditates in Bagan monastery, Burma, 2008

Even though they get merits for helping people in need, one never has the impression that they do it for any other reason other than their good nature, dedication, and hospitality.

Quotations from the Buddha:

“Teach this triple truth to all:  A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.”

“In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”

 

Children of War

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 13, 2009 by stevemccurry

Every gun that is fired, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone.

“It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

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AFGHN-10083, Afghanistan, 1992

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Kabul, Afghanistan, 1993

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Luzon, Philippines, 1986

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Beirut, Lebanon, 1982

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Kuwait City, 1991

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A landmine victim, Pul i Khumri, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, 1992

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Shepherd boy at Al Ahmadi, Kuwait, 1991

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Kandahar, Afghanistan, 1985

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Child with Dutch Soldier, Afghanistan, 2002

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Tamil Tigers recruits during training, west of Batticola, Sri Lanka, 199

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Kabul, Afghanistan, 1992

Veterans’ Day, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 11, 2009 by stevemccurry

Thank you to our active duty service members and all veterans today and every day.

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Kuwait, 1991

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Kuwait, 1991

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Kuwait, 1991

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Treating an Afghan child, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2002

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Iraq, 2003

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Afghanistan, 2002

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Luzon, Philippines, 1985

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On assignment during Desert Storm, 1991

Unpublished, Unseen

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2009 by stevemccurry

Over the past thirty years, I have taken hundreds of thousands of pictures.  Many of them have been published in my books, in magazines, and seen in my exhibitions, but a majority have never been seen.  Here are a few of those unseen pictures.

Note:  November 9 – I have added some pictures at the bottom of the Berlin Wall which came down twenty years ago today.

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Kashmir, 1999

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Kashmir, 1998

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Java, 1983

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Burma, 1994

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Australia, 1983

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Kandahar, Afghanistan, 1992

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Bamiyan, Afghanistan, 2006

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Morocco, 1988

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Manhattan neighborhood, 1996

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Central Park, New York, NY, 1994

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Fall of the Berlin Wall, November, 1989

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The Way it Was

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2009 by stevemccurry
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Steam Train, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, 1983

The art historian, Geoffrey Batchen, in writing about photography, said that one of the missions of photography is to represent and memorialize.

 

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Fishermen, Weligama, South coast, Sri Lanka, 1995

These pictures could not be taken today.  In the past couple of decades the landscapes and cultures have changed.

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Rice paddy fields, Banaue, Philippines, 1985

It is my hope that these images will provide a record of  lost moments of culture.

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Women Working in Fields, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, 1996.

These fields are no longer being cultivated. Some of these pictures are a “last look” at much that stands for cultural identity around the world.

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Railroad line inspector being pushed by a retinue of workers to check for wear and tear on the tracks, Agra, India, 1983

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Farmer separating the wheat from the chaff. Baluchistan, Pakistan, 1980

The  beautiful and sublime is going to disappear.  It has already.

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A view looking downtown towards the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan, New York City, 1994.

It is more common to see a baseball hat and a Chicago Bulls jersey than traditional clothing in nearly every place I travel.

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Tibet, 2000

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