Archive for February, 2012

The Longest War

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 28, 2012 by stevemccurry

Kabul Cemetery

As hard as outsiders have tried to subdue and “re-create” the country in their own image,
Afghanistan has been able to absorb the blows of superpowers, and
remain essentially the same.

Jalalabad


The interesting thing is that the people trying to change it,

change more than the country does even after
Herculean efforts of governments, NGO’s, and coalitions.

Burning School, Kabul


The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The problem is that intentions which are based on faulty and naive
assumptions are doomed to failure.

Mujahadeen head toward Kabul as Russians leave


In spite of the failed attempt by the powerful Soviet army
to bring the country under its control,

the “deciders” still had the fantasy that we could do what
hadn’t been done before.

 Those “deciders” did not have even the basic
understanding of the country, the history, the people,

the terrain, the language, the religion, the culture.

Mujahadeen holds up decapitated head of Afghan Army soldier

Lieut. Col. Daniel Davis, in an analysis of the situation in Afghanistan titled, “Truth, Lies,
and Afghanistan” published in The Armed Forces Journal in February, 2012, wrote,
“I witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level”
in his rebuttal to the military’s assertion that the war was going well and that the Coalition
was making progress.  He charged the military leadership with misleading
the American public.

Red Cross Hospital

Davis reported that he had repeatedly seen top commanders
falsely dress up dismal situations including
General Petreus in testimony to Congress.

Red Cross Hospital, Kabul


During the months I traveled with the Mujahadeen, I witnessed a deep camaraderie
amongst the fighters who were on the greatest mission of their lives.
They weren’t looking at the calendar.

They didn’t even worry much about casualty numbers.
The harder the fight was, the stronger they became.

Mujahadeen with family members cross into Pakistan


Walking in the snow without boots high up in the Hindu Kush was commonplace.

Those men were as tough as it gets.

AFGHN-10249

Kabul

Military Hospital in Kabul

Every gun that is made, 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 not clothed.
This 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.
This is not a way of life at all in any true sense.
Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
– Dwight David Eisenhower

Former Soldier in Makeshift Mental Hospital



The Lives We Live

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2012 by stevemccurry

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.
- Flora Whittemore

AFGHN-12708

Maimana, Afghanistan

Since the beginning of time, doors have
symbolized both great opportunities and thwarted dreams.

INDIA-10870

Varanasi, India

Morocco-10024; 00541_07; Morocco; 03/1988

Morocco

The open door is a metaphor for new life, a passage
from one stage of life to another, and metamorphosis.
Closed doors represent rejection and exclusion.

KASHMIR-10076

Kashmir

The Door
Too little has been said
Of the door,
its one face turned to the night’s
Downpour
and its other
To the shift and glisten of firelight.

AFGHN-12927NF

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

For doors are both frame and monument
To our spent time,
And too little
Has been said of our
coming through and leaving by them.
- Charles Tomlinson

INDIA-10412

India

CAMBODIA-10002

Cambodia

TIBET-10927

Tibet

A door just opened on a street–
I, lost, was passing by–
An instant’s width of warmth disclosed
And wealth, and company.

The door as sudden shut, and I,
I, lost, was passing by,–
Lost doubly, but by contrast most,
Enlightening misery.
- Emily Dickinson

AFGHN-10235

Kabul, Afghanistan

BURMA-10005

Mingun Pagoda, near Mandalay, Burma/Myanmar

AFGHN-12648

West Kabul, Afghanistan

INDIA-10556

India

USA-10256

Los Angeles, United States

The door swings open:
O god of hinges,
god of long voyages,
you have kept faith.
It’s dark in there.
You confine yourself to the darkness
You step in.
The door swings closed.
- Margaret Atwood

AFGHN-12467NF

Kabul, Afghanistan

AFGHN-13116NF

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

INDIA-11038NF

Bombay/Mumbai, India

AFGHN-10156

Kabul, Afghanistan

BANGLADESH-10020

Dhaka, Bangladesh

CAMBODIA-10145

Monastery at Rolous, Cambodia

YUGOSLAVIA-10055

Macedonia

The Door

Go and open the door.
Maybe outside there’s
a tree, or a wood,
a garden, or a magic city.

Go and open the door.
Maybe a dog’s rummaging.
Maybe you’ll see a face,
or an eye, or the picture of a picture.

Go and open the door.
If there’s a fog
it will clear.

Go and open the door.
Even if there’s only
the darkness ticking,
even if there’s only
the hollow wind,
even if nothing is there,
go and open the door.

At least there’ll be a draught.
- Miroslav Holub
translated from the Czech by Ian Milner

YEMEN-10094

Yemen

VIETNAM-10019

Vietnam

The closing of a door can bring blessed privacy and
comfort – the opening, terror.
Conversely, the closing of a door can be a sad and final thing -
the opening a wonderfully joyous moment.
- Andy Rooney

It Takes Two

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2012 by stevemccurry

 Here are some pictures of couples all over
the world who have a relationship that is
evident in their gestures of caring, their body
language, their eyes.

MAURITANIA-10013

Mauritania

If we are a metaphor of the universe,
the human couple is the metaphor par excellence,
the point of intersection of all forces and the seed of all forms.
The couple is time recaptured, the return to the time before time.
– Octavio Paz, Mexico, Nobel Laureate in Literature

CUBA-10023

Havana, Cuba


BRAZIL-10013NF5

Brazil

A4487718, THAILAND-10041NF, Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, Thailand


ITALY-10067

Venice, Italy

What is essential is invisible to the eye.
 - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

ITALY-10060

Rome, Italy

Grow old along with me.
The best is yet to be, the last of life,
for which the first was made.
Our times are in his hand who saith,
A whole I planned, youth shows but half;
Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!
– Robert Browning

FRANCE-10056

France

 

USA-10394

New York City


AFGHN-13082NF

Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan

Life has taught us that love does not
consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward
together in the same direction.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry,
Wind, Sand, and Stars

TIBET-10119

Tagong, Tibet

Take away love and our earth is a tomb.
– Robert Browning

YUGOSLAVIA-10057

Gostivar, Macedonia

 

INDIA-10313

Agra, India

The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of. 
- Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 1670

UGANDA-10002

Uganda

To love someone deeply gives you strength.
Being loved by someone  deeply gives you courage.
– Lao-Tzu

YEMEN-10046

Sanaa, Yemen

 

IRELAND-10010

Dublin, Ireland

 

YUGOSLAVIA-10063

Belgrade, Serbia

One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life.
That word is love.
– Sophocles

ITALY-10085

Rome, Italy

 

TURKEY-10022

Istanbul, Turkey

CAMBODIA-10085

Cambodia

 

ITALY-10268NF

Rome, Italy

The couple is time recaptured, the return to the time before time.
– Octavio Paz, Mexico, Nobel Laureate in Literature

All Creatures Great and Small

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2012 by stevemccurry
THAILAND-10033

Thailand

BURMA-10129

Burma/Myanmar

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all
-Cecil Frances, 1848

THAILAND-10034

Thailand

Nature’s great masterpiece, an elephant;
the only harmless great thing.
– John Donne
00131_04; Tibet; 2000; TIBET-10976

Tibet

 

INDIA-10762

India


INDIA-10674NF

India

 

BANGLADESH-10008

Bangladesh

Cows are amongst the gentlest of breathing creatures;
none show more passionate tenderness to their
young when deprived of them; and, in short,
I am not ashamed to profess a deep
love for these quiet creatures.
-Thomas de Quincey

INDIA-10211

India

Do not free the camel of the burden of his hump;
you may be freeing him from being a camel.
-Gilbert K. Chesterton

INDIA-10580

Rajasthan, India

Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
Friendship without envy,
Or beauty without vanity?
Here, where grace is served with muscle
And strength by gentleness confined
He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity.
There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent.
There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.
~Ronald Duncan, The Horse

PARAGUAY-10012NF

Paraguay

 

GERMANY-10007

Konigslutter, Germany

Until one has loved an animal,
a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.

- Anatole France

TIBET-10105

Tibet

 

AFGHN-10153

Band-e-Amir, Afghanistan

 A horse is worth more than riches.
- Spanish Proverb

YEMEN-10052NF

Yemen

Without a shepherd, sheep are not a flock.
-Russian Proverb

AFGHN-12787

Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan

All goats are mischievous thieves, gate-crashers,
and trespassers. Also they possess individual
character, intelligence, and capacity for affection
which can only be matched by the dog.
David Mackenzie, Farmer in the Western Isles

INDIA-11486

Tibet

 

INDIA-10327

West Bengal, India

 

YUGOSLAVIA-10029

Bosnia

 

INDIA-10624

India

THAILAND-10027NF

Thailand

 

BURMA-10213NF

Burma/Myanmar

As an inspiration to the author,
I do not think the cat can be over-estimated.
He suggests so much grace, power, beauty, motion, mysticism.
I do not wonder that many writers love cats;
I am only surprised that all do not.
– Carl Van Vechten
HONDURAS-10029

Honduras


PERU-10012

Peru

Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.
- James Herriot

ITALY-10012

Italy

A cat is a lion in a jungle of small bushes.
- Indian Proverb

BURMA-10190

Yangon, Burma/Myanmar

 

CAMBODIA-10096

Cambodia

 

INDIA-10827

India

 

INDIA-10412

India

 

RUSSIA-10004NF

Moscow, Russia

 

COLOMBIA-10008

Colombia

 

AFGHN-12385NF5

Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan

 

UZBEKISTAN-10005NF

Russia

 

BURMA-10105

Burma/Myanmar

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be
judged by the way its animals are treated.
– Mahatma Gandhi

Please see the Behind the Scenes video about the Rome Exhibition:

http://www.phaidon.com/agenda/photography/video/2012/february/07/behind-the-scenes-with-steve-mccurry/


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