Archive for Lhasa

Fun and Games

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2011 by stevemccurry
 
INDIA-10016NF2ns
Tibetan Refugee Settlement, Bylakuppe, India
 
 
 
 
  TIBET-10849
Tibet
 
 
If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed
himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become
unstable without knowing it.
– Herodotus

 

TIBET-10799 Lhasa, Tibet

 

The true object of all human life is play.
Earth is a task garden.
Heaven is a playground.

G . K. Chesterton

 
 
 
 ITALY-10096
Gubbio, Italy
 
 

 

BURMA-10057Burma/Myanmar

 

You can discover more about a person in an
hour of play than in a year of conversation.
– Plato

JAPAN-10027Tokyo, Japan

 

 ITALY-10288NF8Spoleto, Italy

 


INDIA-10395
Mumbai, India

 

 INDIA-10005NF4Rajasthan, India

 

Play is a uniquely adaptive act,
not subordinate to some other adaptive
act, but with a special function of its own
in human experience.
– Johan Huizinga


AFGHN-10195
Pul i Khumri, Afghanistan

AFGHN-12126NF3  Wrestling Match, Kahan, Afghanistan

 

USA-10214 Los Angeles, California

Games lubricate the body and the mind.
-Benjamin Franklin

 

CANADA-10001Nova Scotia, Canada

 

Play is the exultation of the possible.
– Martin Buber

AFGHN-10100Kabul, Afghanistan

 

  BANGLADESH-10010Bangladesh

 

Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the
seriousness of a child at play.
– Heraclitus

INDIA-10490NFMumbai, India

 

CHINA-10038NF3 China

It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use,
from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.
– Thomas Aquinas

  AFGHN-12262Bamiyan, Afghanistan

 

 

BURMA-10206Myanmar/Burma

 

 

INDIA-10836Rajasthan, India

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Language of Looking

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2011 by stevemccurry

Please scroll to the bottom for the unseen portrait of the week. 

 There are many ways to describe the ways that people look at each other and the world.  We peek, stare, glance, gaze, gape, glare, and peer.  We also examine, contemplate, squint, and observe.

 

 INDIA-10216Jodhpur, India

BURMA-10151Yangon, Myanmar/Burma

GERMANY-10061 Berlin, Germany

The question is not what you look at, but what you see. 
 – Henry David Thoreau 

YUGOSLAVIA-10069Croatia

AFGHN-13002Kabul, Afghanistan

AFGHN-13295Afghanistan

AFGHN-12691NFnsKabul, Afghanistan

INDIA-10731Thirumullaivayil, India

One of the most wonderful things in nature is a glance of the eye; it transcends speech; it is the bodily
symbol of identity. 

- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

INDIA-10757Train to Peshawar, Pakistan

BURMA-10394NF5Myanmar/Burma

PARAGUAY-10030Paraguay

TIBET-10303NFBarkhor Quarter, Lhasa, Tibet

It’s the way to educate your eyes.  Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop.  Die knowing something.  You are not here long.
– Walker Evans  

SPAIN-10020Reina Sofia, National Museum of Art, Madrid, Spain

If you look at a thing 999 times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it for the 1000th time,
you are in danger of seeing it for the first time.
–  G. K. Chesterton 

INDIA-11085Jaipur, India

I used to try to figure out precisely what I was seeing all the time, until I discovered I didn’t need to.
If the thing is there, why, there it is.
– Walker Evans

CAMBODIA-10311A man examines photographs of victims of the Khmer Rouge’s S-21 prison camp, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

 Unseen Portrait of the WeekPAKISTAN-10011Baluchistan, Pakistan

Children at Work

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2011 by stevemccurry

AFRICA-10237The Sahel, Africa

In developing countries one in six children from 5 to 14 years old is involved in child labor.

INDIA-10207Ship-breaking yard, Mumbai, India

Shoepolisher, Tibetans, 12/2000, final book_iconicLhasa, Tibet

In the least developed countries, 30 percent of all children are engaged in child labor.

Marpha, Nepal, 1998Marpha, Nepal

Worldwide, 126 million children work in hazardous conditions, often enduring beatings, humiliation and sexual violence by their employers.

AFGHN-13034NFKabul, Afghanistan

The highest proportion of child laborers is in sub-Saharan Africa, where 26 percent of children (49 million) are involved in work.

AFGHN-12489
Kabul, Afghanistan

AFGHN-13002Kabul, Afghanistan

AFGHN-12258-(1)Kandahar, Afghanistan

An estimated 1.2 million children — both boys and girls — are trafficked each year into exploitative work in agriculture, mining, factories, armed conflict or commercial sex work.

_SM13419, Myanmar, Burma, 02/2011, BURMA-10283Mandalay, Myanmar/ Burma

AFGHN-10025Kabul, Afghanistan

AFGHN-12925Bamiyan, Afghanistan 

“Child labor and poverty are inevitably bound together,  and if you continue to use the labor of children as the treatment for the social disease of poverty, you will have both poverty and child labor to the end of time.” -  Grace Abbott

 

AFGHN-12209Pul i Khumri, Afghanistan

Cigarette Vendor, Kabul Survey Trip, 05/2002 Kabul, Afghanistan

AFGHN-12243Pul i Khumri, Afghanistan

Charikar, Afghanistan, 2002

 ImagineAsia’s Storybook Project for Afghan Children

The mission of ImagineAsia, a 501c3 non-profit organization, is to work in partnership with local community leaders and regional NGO’s to help students in Afghan communities receive fundamental educational materials and resources. 

IA  has started to translate Aesop’s fables into Dari for the children of Afghanistan who have never had a book of their own.  Translated and illustrated by volunteers, these stories will reach families in remote areas of the country.

For thousands of years the fables have revealed universal truths through simple allegories.  The stories often use animals to  teach lessons that are easily understood by people of all ages.

Here are some sample pages:

The Lion and the Mouse –  illustrated by Jason Melcher

 The Boy Who Cried Wolf – illustrated by Kate Raines

Pitcher and the Crow –  illustrated by Lois Andersen

An Afghan Folktale – The Silver on the Hearth – illustrated by Kate Harrold

Tortoise and Hare –  illustrated by Kate Harrold


The Donkey and its Purchaser – illustrated by Kate Harrold

The Sun and the Wind – illustrated by Annie Zimmerman

 The Fox and the Goat – illustrated by Jason Melcher

 http://www.imagine-asia.org/

Sources: http://www.unicef.org, http://www.ilo.org, www.crin.org

The Eye of the Beholder

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2011 by stevemccurry

 

 The Taj Mahal in Agra, India, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, are two of the world’s most iconic buildings.   They both evoke passionate emotions, even love, despite being  on opposite ends of the historical and architectural spectrum.

 

INDIA-10325

Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Built with translucent white marble and inlaid with gems from China, Tibet, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and the Arabian peninsula

 

 In both buildings shape, size, scale, proportion, texture, color, and light  work together to spectacular effect, but very simple structures can also be designed to bring aesthetic pleasure.

  

SPAIN-10002NF

Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain
Constructed with a steel frame covered with titanium sheathing

What makes things pleasing to our eyes, and how can the design of everything from majestic buildings to simple utilitarian structures bring delight?

  

JAPAN-10012

Kyoto, Japan

For centuries, there has been documented evidence that people have preferences for structures in the built environment and in the natural environment that have certain geometric  proportions known as the golden ratio or golden proportion.

INDIA-10689

Red Fort, New Delhi, India

  The ratio of length to width of approximately 1.618  appears not only in art and architecture, but also in natural structures.

TIBET-10911

Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet

 

INDIA-10708

Junagarh Fort, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India

INDIA-10875

Step Well, India

 

Kimberly Elam’s book,  Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Composition, points out that things in nature as different as
the human body, the pine cone, and the trout all share natural proportioning systems that provide the foundation for all art, architecture, and design.

CHINA-10067

Summer Palace, Beijing, China

Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is
recognition of the pattern.
 – Alfred North Whitehead, Mathemetician

 

INDIA-10997, Jodhpur, India, 2005

Jodhpur, India

  

INDIA-10620

Gujarat, India

 

INDIA-10966,  Jaipur, India, April, 2008, Final print_Novartis

Jaipur, India, 2008

 On photography and geometry:

“For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. In order to “give a meaning” to the world, one has to feel involved in what one frames through the viewfinder. This attitude requires concentration, discipline of mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry.”
– Henri Cartier-Bresson

 

 

“Let no one destitute of geometry enter my doors.”  –  Plato 

 

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.

BURMA-10084

Buddha statue in Mandalay, Burma, 2008

TIBET-10009

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.

INDIA-10016NF2nsBuddhism

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

CAMBODIA-10089

Monks in the Rain, Angkor Wat, Cambodia, 1999

THAILAND-10002

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.

TIBET-10499

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

TIBET-10036Buddhism

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.

INDIA-10299

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.

BURMA-10073

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.”

 

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