Back in Kabul

It was great to be back in Kabul recently for an exhibition of my pictures at Bagh-e-Babur Queen’s Palace and to give a workshop for Afghan photographers.  The exhibition was the first of its kind since the fall of the Taliban, and I wanted to show the beauty of the country and its culture to the people who have had to endure decades of war and privation.  Afghanistan has had a special place in my heart since my first visit in 1979.  I have had the opportunity and privilege to get to know many Afghans over the years and it is a place that I will always consider very special.  Afghans are well known for their hospitality, and every time I visit, I feel like I’ve never left.

Thanks to generous donations, we were able to host students from 37 schools, orphanages, and universities.  Soon the exhibition will be traveling to Herat in the western part of the country, and I hope to open the exhibit and give workshops for journalists, photographers, and university students there.   There are few things as satisfying and enjoyable as spending time with people of such great courage and perseverance.

8 Responses to “Back in Kabul”

  1. Dear Steve,

    Good to hear you revisted Kabul. As an Afghan, I am proud to read your sentiment and as Herati girl I am even more thrilled to know you will take the workshopt Herat:) I have been away from the beautiful Herat for a long time but my best childhood memories are made in Herat.

    Hope to keep in touch and hear more about it.


    • P.S. Oops for so many typos. I have been very excited as well as having the long fake nails getting in the way of my fast typing.


  2. Soham Gupta Says:

    Dear Mr. McCurry,

    I’ve been following you closely for quite some time. You’re undoubtedly the greatest photographer of modern times, and that, I’ve said so many times to you. But today, I’ll ask you some questions that only you can answer.

    Now you are in Afghanistan. Some time back, you were in India. Who knows in which country you’ll be, a month later. Your ‘job’ is unique, indeed. But how can someone else have a life like you do? You have such a job surely because you are talented, and experienced. BUt what are the other factors that are involved? Being part of United States and hence the great platform Uncle Sam provides?

    I just crossed twenty a few days ago, and though I am a student of literature, I’ll be a social documentary photographer, when, ‘I grow up’. But I don’t know, how I can reach my goal. I don’t want to be a photojournalist and shoot fat, old and corrupt politicians. What I love doing is people photography; something that you have done for ages. But can anyone make a career out of it, especially in a country like India? I’ve known some photographer friends, who shoot semi-naked models for 80% of the year, for magazines, and then dedicate the rest of the time photographing what they like, like humanitarian photography or landscape photography…whatever they are best at. Yes, I know its important to make money, but I’ll be satisfied by even earning less money, if anyone can give me ‘real’ assignments, like documenting the lives of some tribals in India…something that will have a meaning.

    How do I start? As of now, I just take lots and lots of photographs for myself and that’s all. I work on stories, assigned by me. I do things my way. I am not associated with any clubs, or agencies. I just try to capture celebration of life, in my own way. But, that, perhaps is not enough. I need to do something. But don’t know what. Can you tell me how, I can move on, in life? How can I really be a professional photographer like you? I don’t have as much talent as you, but you can imagine, that being young, I do dream big:-)

    Am I boring you?

    How’re you enjoying Afghanistan? Is the country that dangerous, as the media says?

    Wishing you peace and happiness,


  3. siva prabu Says:

    hello sir….
    how does it really feels to be a great photographer….people like u and henri cartier hav almost done wat a mere photgrpher can do and u people hav stood as an exmple for many …and also u people hav gone thru all this money ,fame , fans and philosophy of life.. etc but what is the ultimate thing u people are still lookin for??(still lookin for that satisfaction of takin a good picture?)

  4. Nice to hear that you still admire afganistan so much.
    i have allways admired your work.
    and in all the pictures you have taken og really see something og someone that i want to know more about.

  5. Hello Steve,

    I just wanted to say I admire your work. I fell in love with your style some time ago and still haven’t come across anything as inspiring as your pictures.

    Thank you, greetings from Germany,


  6. Steve,

    I just stumbled across your blog and I was pretty excited about it. You have been one of my favorite photographers for a while now and it is nice to be able to follow you on your adventures! I look forward to reading your blog in the future!

    Kindest Regards,

  7. jooprubens Says:

    Dear Steve,
    You’re just so passionate about what you do. It is fantastic.
    Not sure if you realize that for many people some of your classic photographs taken in Afghanistan are actually the main visual images we hold on to when imagining the country and its culture.


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