Archive for Afghanistan

Between Darkness and Light

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2015 by stevemccurry

Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows,
the light and dark which that thing provides.
– Junichiro Tanizak, In Praise of Shadows

SOUTH_AFRICA-10069 (1) South Africa

The shadow is that place between darkness and light.


 We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows,
the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates…
Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.
–  Junichiro Tanizaki

00937_ 07,Angkor Wat, Cambodia, 1998Cambodia

The lovliest things in life are but shadows, and they come and go, and
change and fade away…”
– Charles Dickens 

00056_04, Angkor Wat,  Angkor, Cambodia, 1998, CAMBODIA-10111. A little girl looks at the carvings. Magnum Photos, NYC8848, MCS1998012 K041. Sanctuary: Temples of Angkor_Book Retouched_Ekaterina Savtsova 11/7/2013Cambodia

_DSC8410, Mandalay, Burma/Myanmar, 02/2013, BURMA-10573. A monk reads in a classroom. retouched _Sonny Fabbri 5/21/2014

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow.
– T. S. Eliot

_2SM5416; Rocca Paolina; Perugia, Umbria, Italy; 07/2012, ITALY-10405. Two saxophonists play during a jazz festival. retouched_Sonny Fabbri

“… there are shadows because there are hills. “
–  E.M.Forster, Room with a View

VIETNAM-10097 (1)Vietnam

A shadow on the wall
boughs stirred by the noonday wind
that’s enough earth
and for the eye
enough celestial participation.
– Gottfried Benn
Translated from the German by Michael Hofmann

00384_ 18, New York, USA, 05/2005, USA-10044NF retouched_Sonny Fabbri MAX PRINT SIZE: 20x24
New York City

I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.
– Sylvia Plath

_SAM6326; Rajasthan; India; 2009; INDIA-11506. Rajasthan Shadows.  India_Book retouched_Sonny Fabbri 01/29/2015 MAX PRINT SIZE: 40X60 PORTRAITS_APP

The Sun never knew how wonderful it was
until it fell on the wall of a building.
Louis Kahn, Architect

quoted in forward of In Praise of Shadows,  Junichiro Tanizaki

00054_09, Preah Khan, Angkor, Cambodia, 1999, CAMBODIA-10049NF. Shadow Play.    Untold_book  retouched_Sonny Fabbri 10/29/2014

_DSC9569, Abu Dhabi, Seven Sisters, United Arab Emirates, 11/2014, UNITED_ARAB_EMIRATES-10051. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi. FINAL print_EMPTY QUARTER retouched_Ekaterina Savtsova 01/30/2015
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi.United Arab Emirates

719670, Sahae Desert, Mali, 08/1986, MALI-10068

There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re
absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.
–  Jo Walton

SAM_4570, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2/2009, BRAZIL-10010. A man running. final print_Genoa retouched_Sonny Fabbri MAX PRINT SIZE: 40X60

Shadow is the means by which bodies display their form.
The forms of bodies could not be understood in detail but for shadow.
– Leonardo da Vinci

00014_12, Sahel Desert, Niger River, Mali, 1986, MALI-10033. The west African monsoon feeds the Niger River which allows local people to fish. Magnum Photos, NYC62507, MCS1986006 K045. Unguarded Moment_Book final print_UrbanArt'12 retouched_Sonny Fabbri

Shards of light scatter indiscriminately
Half light at dusk yearns to remain
but is satisfied
by tomorrow’s promise
– Kay Earle

BURMA-10391, Burma, 02/2011Burma

Kabul, Afghanistan, 2002, AFGHN-10156. Beggar and shadow. On this particular day in Kabul, McCurry found a beggar women seeking charity outside a mosque. The ominous shadows of the buildings and passers-by convey a sense of intense isolation. It is a scene that has a changed little over the years. 'Every time I've returned,' McCurry recalls, 'I have found the same woman, begging by the same door.'


From These Hands, A Journey Along the Coffee Trail  has just been released by Phaidon Press.
From the foothills of the Andes to the slopes of Kilimanjaro, the images document the
realities of life for the
people working at the source of this drink which
millions of people enjoy every day – coffee.

Colors of Afghanistan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 5, 2014 by stevemccurry

  “A landscape might be denuded, a human settlement abandoned or lost,
but always, just beneath the ground lies history of preposterous grandeur. . .
They are everywhere, these individuals of undaunted humankind,
irrepressibly optimistic and proud.
– The Carpet Wars, Christopher Kremmer

AFGHN-12074NF Band-e-Amir

AFGHN-10149 Kabul

If my heart trembles
for Kabul,
it’s for the slow step of summer noons,
siestas in my father’s house which,
heavy with mid-day sleep,
still weighs on my ribs…

It’s for the hawker’s cry
of the vegetable seller doing his rounds,
lost in my neighbours’ troubled dreams,
that my heart’s trembling.
– Shakila Azizzda

AFGHN-12772 Bamiyan


 Yet even at their most turbulent, the Afghans have tended to impress
travellers with
their dignity and hospitality as much as their fierce independence.
– William Dalrymple,  author of Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan 1839–42

AFGHN-10135 Kabul



AFGHN-12883Afghanistan/Pakistan border

AFGHN-12819, Qala-e-Sabzi, Afghanistan, 2007. Donkeys grazing in fields. Qala-e-Sabzi


In Afghanistan, you don’t understand yourself solely as an individual.
You understand yourself as a son, a brother, a cousin to somebody,
an uncle to somebody.
You are part of something bigger than yourself.
– Khaled Hosseini



Every street of Kabul is enthralling to the eye
Through the bazaars, caravans of Egypt pass
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.
– Saeb-e-Tabrizik
Translation by Josephine Davis


AFGHN-10242 (1)Kandahar

HazarasBamiyan Province

AFGHN-10227Jabal Siraj

God must have loved Afghans because he made them so beautiful.
– Unknown

Girl praying at a Shia mosque, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2003, final book_iconicKabul

AFGHN-13027Afghanistan/Pakistan border


Steve McCurry Retrospective
Villa Reale di Monza
Monza, Italy
October 30, 2014 – April 6, 2015

Finding the Sublime
CT Gallery
112, rue Saint-François
74120 Megève
December 16, 2014 – February 8, 2015

Power of Two

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2014 by stevemccurry
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work.
If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
– Ecclesiastes 4

INDIA-11482Jodhpur, India

DSC_6015, Turkish Tourism, Turkey, 2013. Couple walking on the street.Istanbul, Turkey

CHINA-10223Shanghai, China

One’s not half of two;
two are halves of one.
– e.e. cummings


FRANCE-10056, Lourdes, France, 1988Lourdes, France

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, not be afraid!
– Robert Browning


SPAIN-10051 (1)Spain


The couple is time recaptured,
the return to the time before time.

– Octavio Paz, Nobel Laureate in Literature




CHINA-10231 (1)Hong Kong, China


AFGHN-13988Kabul, Afghanistan

YEMEN-10061, Yemen, 1997Yemen


Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet.
– Vietnamese Proverb


Words are easy, like the wind;
Faithful friends are hard to find.

– William Shakespeare


00734_10, Afghanistan, Hazara People, July, 07/2006, AFGHN-13082Afghanistan

DSC_4537, Deep South, 04/2014 Retouched by Ekaterina Savtsova 04/13/2014United States



The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand,
not the kindly smile,
nor the joy of companionship.
It is the spiritual inspiration

that comes to one when you discover that someone else
believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson


In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing.
– Mignon McLaughlin

UGANDA-10002 (1)Uganda

Love always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.
–  Corinthians 13



Brucie Collections
Kiev, Ukraine
May 14 – August 17, 2014

Alessandro Del Piero Gallery
Torino, Italy
May 16 – August 31, 2014

Festival La Gacilly
La Gacilly, France
May 31 – September 30, 2014

Théâtre de la Photography et de l’Image
Nice, France
June 27 – September 28, 2014

Loukla & Michael Zampelas Art Museum
Kaimakli, Nicosia, Cyprus
August 5 – September 30, 2014

Leica Gallery
Salzburg, Austria
August 7 – September 27, 2014

The Anna Lamar Switzer Gallery,
Pensacola State College
Pensacola, FL
August 18 – December 12, 2014

Faces of Afghanistan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2014 by stevemccurry

“A landscape might be denuded,
a human settlement abandoned or lost,
but always,
just beneath the ground lies history of preposterous grandeur. . .
They are everywhere, these individuals of undaunted
humankind, irrepressibly optimistic and proud.”
–  The Carpet Wars, Christopher Kremmer

_PBS6026_es (1)Kabul



AFGHN-12331NF (1)Panjshir Valley

Yet even at their most turbulent, the Afghans have tended to impress
travellers with
their dignity and hospitality as much as their fierce independence.
– William Dalrymple,  author of Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan 1839–42

AFGHN-12691NF2 (1)Kabul



God must have loved Afghans because he made them so beautiful.
– Unknown

PAKISTAN-10003Peshawar, Pakistan Afghan refugee 




AFGHN-12244NF (2)Kunduz


In Afghanistan, you don’t understand yourself solely as an individual.
You understand yourself as a son, a brother, a cousin to somebody, an uncle to somebody.
You are part of something bigger than yourself.
– Khaled Hosseini



AFGHN-10242 (1)Kandahar



AFGHN-10060, Pul-i-Khumri, Afghanistan, 1992. A bandaged wounded boy.Pul-e-Khumri




A French man who worked for the ICRC had been to inspect one of Kabul’s
prisons to
check on the conditions of the prisoners.
After their names had all been verified, he noticed a door which had remained unopened for the inspection. 

The prison guard had been reluctant to open it;
behind it was just an old man in solitary confinement, he had said.
But it was the man’s job to count the prisoners, and he insisted on being shown inside.

When the door was open, he caught sight of a half-naked old man in the freezing and windowless cell.
The old man had tottered to his feet, lifted the scrap of cloth on which he sat,
brushed the dust from it and stepped back, smiling, to offer the space to his guest.
– Jason Elliott, An Unexpected Light


Beetles & Huxley Gallery
London, UK
12 May through 7 June 2014

One Step at a Time

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2014 by stevemccurry

One step at a time is good walking.
– Chinese proverb


Walking shares with making and working that
crucial element of engagement of the body and the mind with the world,
of knowing the world through the body and the body through the world.
– Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking


UnitedKingdom-10018_blogUnited Kingdom

There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. 
A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo. 
– Paul Scott Mowrer




 Solvitur ambulando
(To solve a problem, walk around)
– St. Jerome

YEMEN-10117, Yemen, 04/1997Yemen


How often have I had this longing for an infinite walk – of going unimpeded,
until the movement of my body as I walk fell into the flight of
streets under my feet – 
until I in my body and the world in its
skin of earth were blended into a single act of knowing.

– Alfred Kazin, The Open Street




In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
– John Muir


All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.
– Friedrich Nietzche


If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking
Angels whisper to those who walk
– Raymond Inmon


IRELAND-10001 Ireland

 Above all, do not lose your desire to walk.
Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being …
I have walked myself into my best thoughts,
and I know of no thought so burdensome that
one cannot walk away from it.
– Soren Kierkegaard

BURMA-10564 Burma

Walking is a man’s best medicine.


With beauty before me, may I walk
With beauty behind me, may I walk
With beauty above me, may I walk
With beauty below me, may I walk
With beauty all around me, may I walk
Wandering on the trail of beauty, may I walk
– Navajo: Walking Meditation

FRANCE-10056, Lourdes, France, 1988 France

  Walking is the great adventure,
the first meditation, a practice of heartiness and
soul primary to humankind.
Walking is the exact balance between spirit and humility.
– Gary Snyder

BRAZIL-10065Rio de Janeiro,Brazil








Horses and Humans

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2014 by stevemccurry

COLOMBIA-10001 (2)Colombia

They gallop and trot, whinny and neigh, capturing our imagination — and our hearts.
Indeed, horses are said to have done more to change human history than any
other domestic animal,
once upon a time carrying explorers to
new frontiers and mighty armies to great conquests.
Nature,  PBS


When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk:
he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it;

the basest horn of his hoof is more
musical than the pipe of Hermes.

– William Shakespeare, Henry V

Kabul Survey TripAfghanistan


There is something about the outside of a horse
that is good for the inside of a man.
– Winston Churchill


A horse! a horse! My kingdom for a horse!
-William Shakespeare, Richard III

01025_20, Paraguay, 10/1988Paraguay

A horse gallops with his lungs,
Perseveres with his heart,
And wins with his character.
– Fredrico Tesio


01110_18; Lahore; Pakistan; 04/1983, PAKISTAN-10097Pakistan

BURMA-10391, Burma, 02/2011Burma

A horse is worth more than riches.
– Spanish Proverb

_DSC7490, Lombari, Brazil, 2010, BRAZIL-10011NF9Brazil

00010_05, USA-10208, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA,United States

ITALY-10591NF2 (1)Italy

AFGHN-12834 (2)Pakistan

00635_04, Lavazza, Honduras, 2004, HONDURAS-10018NF3Honduras


There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse.
– Robert Smith Surtees


Somewhere in time’s own space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
Some paradise where horses go,
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again.
– Stanley Harrison


00510_11retouched_KateDaigneault 09/11/2013Morocco

And Allah took a handful of southerly wind,
blew His breath over it, and created the horse.
Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword.
– Bedouin Legend


In riding horses we borrow freedom.
-Helen Thompson


USA-10387, Texas; USA; 2006; PORTRAITS_APPUnited States


00512_02; Baluchistan; Pakistan; 03/1981; BIO-10274NF2Steve McCurry in Baluchistan, Pakistan

Current Exhibitions
Kunsthalle Erfurt, Germany

Juminkeko Foundation
Kuhmo, Finland

Upcoming Exhibitions

Alex Del Piero Gallery
Torino, Italy
16 May 2014 through 31 August 2014

Beetles & Huxley Gallery
London, UK
May 12 through June 7, 2014

Frederic Got Fine Art Gallery
June 2014

Theatre de la Photography et de l’Image
Nice, France
27 June 2014 through 28 September 2014


Where the World Meets

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2014 by stevemccurry

Buying and Selling in the World’s Bazaars, Souks, and Markets

Street scene, Calcutta, India, 1996Kolkata, India

In The Bazaars of Hyderabad
What do you sell, Oh ye merchants?
Richly your wares are displayed,
Turbans of crimson and silver,
Tunics of purple brocade,
Mirrors with panels of amber,
Daggers with handles of jade.

AFGHN-12834Quissa Khawani Bazaar, Peshawar, Pakistan

What do you weigh, Oh ye vendors?
Saffron, lentil and rice.

AFGHN-12348Pul–i-Khumri, Afghanistan

What do you cry, Oh fruitmen?
Citron, pomegranate and plum.


What do you call, Oh ye pedlars?
Chessmen and ivory dice.

653692_esSanaa, Yemen

What do you make, Oh ye goldsmiths?
Wristlet and anklet and ring,
Bells for the feet of blue pigeons,
Frail as a dragon-fly’s wing,
Girdles of gold for the dancers,
Scabbards of gold for the king.
Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949)
Known as The Nightingale of India

00116_03, Hong Kong, China, 1985. CHINA-10041. Women in a market in China.Hong Kong, China

UZBEKISTAN-10009_esSamarkand, Uzbekistan

YEMEN-10033NFSanaa, Yemen

TURKEY-10056, Istanbul, Turkey, 07/1997Istanbul, Turkey

LondonMarketLondon, United Kingdom

_DSC6417; India; 2007, INDIA-11631NFIndia

I will open thee a merchant’s store, furnished with the costliest stuffs,
and thou shalt become famous amongst the folk, and take and give,
and buy and sell, and be well known in the city.
The Arabian Nights

00416_17, Istanbul, Turkey, 07/1997, TURKEY-10116Istanbul, Turkey

CAMBODIA-10309 (1)Cambodia

AFGHN-13899Kabul, Afghanistan

PHILIPPINES-10007NFZamboanga, Philippines

AFGHN-10033Part of the old Bamiyan bazaar, Afghanistan

Carved into the mountainside by Buddhist monks between the second and fifth centuries, the
Buddhas of Bamiyan were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. 




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