Archive for July 23, 2009

The Story Behind a Picture

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 23, 2009 by stevemccurry


I had been photographing the effects of shelling in Kabul, when, without warning, hundreds of rockets started pouring down on the city from several different directions. I had to find cover immediately, and the first refuge I saw was what appeared to be a series of abandoned buildings. I dashed for cover in what turned out to be a hospital for the mentally ill. Its residents were victims of decades of war. There were soldiers who had lost their minds and civilians traumatized by the indelible images of the horror that they had witnessed.

There was no electricity, no running water, no doctors, no nurses.  The smoke from the fire of a makeshift kitchen blackened the ceilings and walls.

As I was moving to another part of the courtyard, I looked back and saw that a man had picked up heavy stones and was bashing another inmate in the head. I remember seeing a huge stone bouncing off his head.  We wrestled him to the ground and hustled the man to a hospital.  That experience haunts me to this day.


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