Archive for Afghanistan

Portraits of Resilience

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2014 by stevemccurry

is the ability to overcome adversity,

cope with setbacks, and persevere in the face of  
trauma and deprivation.


AFGHN-10118NFKandahar, Afghanistan

The greatest glory in living
lies not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall. 
– Nelson Mandela

AFGHN-10037Herat, Afghanistan

SRILANKA-10024NF5Sri Lanka

MALI-10010NF, Sahel Desert, Mali, 1986final print_milanMali

INDIA-10727NFMumbai, India

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you
till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then,
for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
– Harriet Beecher Stowe


Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not… nothing is more common than unsuccessful people will talent.
Genius will not… unrewarded genius is almost legendary.
Education will not…. the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. 
– Calvin Coolidge


Serbian Orthodox clergy, like these monks living along Serbia’s Crna River,
have proved a resilient lot. During World War II and its aftermath some
700 were killed, and nearly a quarter of their 4,400 churches and monasteries were destroyed.
With little outside help, the church has made a stubborn comeback.


The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.
– Japanese proverb

00529_04, Angkor Wat, 06/1999, CAMBODIA-10359Cambodia

CAMBODIA-10490Dith Pran, survivor of the Cambodian genocide at
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The world breaks everyone, and afterward,
some are strong at the broken places

– Ernest Hemmingway


Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight,
feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings.
– Victor Hugo


If you voluntarily quit in the face of adversity,
you’ll wonder about it for the rest of your life.
– President Bill Clinton

BURMA-10698 (1)Burma
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of Nobel Peace Prize

AFGHN-10154Kabul, Afghanistan

AFGHN-10103Peshawar, Pakistan

00468_ 018Sri Lanka
A man prays for the victims of the tsunami in 2004 which killed more than 250,000 people

…more than education, experience, or training,
an individual’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds & who fails.
– Harvard Business Review, 2002

Family Table

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2013 by stevemccurry

The family is the nucleus of civilization.
– Will Durant

ITALY-15021 (1)Perugia, Italy

Researchers have confirmed what parents have known for a long time;
sharing a family meal is good for the spirit,
the brain and the health of all family members.

– Anne Fishel, Ph.D.

01062_ 018, India 50 years after 10/96, INDIA-11301NFIndia

In family life, love is the oil that eases friction,
the cement that binds closer together, and
the music that brings harmony.
– Eva Burrows

VIETNAM-10031Viet Tri City, Vietnam


There is no better classroom
than the family table.
– Kaye Earle

TIBET-10522, 1999, KhamTibet


Other things may change us,
but we start and end with the family.  

– Anthony Brandt

SRILANKA-10167 Sri Lanka


Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.
Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.

– Jane Howard


INDONESIA-10016 Indonesia during monsoon season

You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you,
but at the same time you carry them with you
in your heart, your mind, your stomach,

because you do not just live in a world.
A world lives in you. 

– Frederick Buechner




Our family dinner table was like Speakers’ Corner in London.  
We  discussed, debated, argued, declaimed –
all of us at the same time.
– E. Thomson Earl

YUGOSLAVIA-10123_es (1)Hungary


It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens,
that children understand;
their stories, and all their accomplishments,

sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers,
stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.
– Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven


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Threshold of the New

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2013 by stevemccurry

INDIA-10742NF Maqbool Fida Husain, in his studio
Mumbai, India

Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
As they draw near to their eternal home.
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view
That stand upon the threshold of the new.
– Edmund Waller


USA-10797United States

The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. 
– Frank Lloyd Wright

00406_04, 05/2001, TibetTibet

To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am.
– Francis Bacon

ETHIOPIA-10285Member of the Suri tribe, Ethiopia


As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say.
I just watch what they do.
Andrew Carnegie

_SM18476_adj, Cuba, 2010, LATIN_AMERICA-10145Cuba

BRAZIL-10030NF2, Lavazza, Brazil, 08/2010,Brazil


Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing.
It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage,
but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



Old age hath yet his honour and his toil.
– Alfred Lord Tennyson

SRILANKA-10086, Sri Lanka, 10/1995Sri Lanka



None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.
– Henry David Thoreau



Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.
– Garson Kanin 


The years teach much which the days never knew.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Child’s Play

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2013 by stevemccurry


Child’s play is the exultation of the possible.
– Martin Buber



Children at play are not playing about.
Their games should be seen as their most serious minded activity.
– Michel de Montaigne


Play is the highest form of research.
– Albert Einstein


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

INDIA-11310, India, 2010, A young girl in India. Retouched_Sonny FabbriIndia

Time is a game played beautifully by children.
– Heraclitus, Fragments


HONDURAS-10027, La Fortuna, Honduras, 2004,Honduras

Deep meaning lies often in childish play.
– Johann Friedrich von Schiller

USA-10687 United States 


No matter how dire the situation, how dangerous the environment,
children need to play.
Whether it is splashing in puddles or climbing on abandoned tanks,
their world of make believe is almost as important as food and shelter.



The true object of all human life is play.
– G. K. Chesterton

MALI-10010NF, Sahel Desert, Mali, 1986 final print_milanMali

INDIA-10727Mumbai, India

Whoever wants to understand much must play much.
– Gottfried Benn


People tend to forget that play is serious.
– David Hockney

HONDURAS-10010_JM Honduras


We don’t stop playing because we grow old;
we grow old because we stop playing.
– George Bernard Shaw


AUSTRALIA-10008, Maningrida, Australia, 1984Australia


Current Museum Exhibitions
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Germany
Santa Maria della Scala Siena, Italy
Fundacion ITAU, Santiago, Chile

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To Change the World

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2013 by stevemccurry

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use
to change the world.

– Nelson Mandela


AFGHN-13707 (2)Afghanistan

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
– Plutarch

BURMA-10168 (1)Burma

There is divine beauty in learning …
– Elie Wiesel

Kegalla, Sri Lanka, 1995Sri Lanka

DSC_0749_kd (1)Omo Valley, Ethiopia

All I have learned, I learned from books.
– Abraham Lincoln


Learning is not attained by chance;
it must be sought for with
ardor and attended to with diligence.
– Abigail Adams


We think of the effective teachers we have had over the years
with a sense of recognition, but those who have touched our humanity
we remember with a deep sense of gratitude.


 The secret in education lies in respecting the student.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson 

MALI-10028NF Mali


TIBET-10573NF2Kandze, Tibet

Only the educated are free.
– Epictetus


Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the
medium is the human mind and spirit.
– John Steinbeck

SRILANKA-10065Sri Lanka


UNITED_ARAB_EMIRATES-10005Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture,
I got out of the library. For an impoverished child whose family could
not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and
achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to
charge through that door and make the most of it
– Isaac Asimov

AFGHN-13831 (1)Bamiyan, Afghanistan

PAKISTAN-10075Baluchistan, Pakistan

I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money.
When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money.
I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.
– Ray Bradbury

INDIA-12155 (2)India

The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


INDIA-10840Ladakh, India



Interview with the Wall Street Journal

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Family Matters

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2013 by stevemccurry

AFGHN-10124Returning family of refugees in their destroyed home in Herat, Afghanistan

In family life, love is the oil that eases friction,
the cement that binds closer together,
and the music that brings harmony.
– Eva Burrows

YUGOSLAVIA-10076Bosnia and Herzegovina

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.
Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.

– Jane Howard


HONDURAS-10006NF3 (1)Honduras


HazarasBamiyan, Afghanistan

The family is the nucleus of civilization.
– Will Durant


The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.  
–  George Santayana



The family is link to our past, bridge to our future.
– Alex Haley



You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you,
but at the same time
you carry them with you in your heart,
your mind, your stomach, because 

you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.
– Frederick Buechner

BALUCHISTAN-10016Baluchistan, Pakistan

TURKEY-10058Istanbul, Turkey

Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where 
individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, 
communication is open, and rules are flexible – 
the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family. 
– Virginia Satir


My father was an amazing man.
The older I got, the smarter he got.

– Mark Twain


AFGHN-12369Maimana, Afghanistan

A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
– John Bowring



The history of mankind, the history of salvation, passes by way of the family.
– Pope John Paul II, Letters to Families, 1994



I can’t think of anything to write about except families.
They are a metaphor for every other part of society.
– Anna Quindlen


Stolen Childhoods

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2013 by stevemccurry

_2SM8311; India, 04/2012, INDIA-11596India

For the past three decades as I traveled the world on assignment I
 have witnessed children working in fields, factories, ditches, tunnels,
mines, and ship-breaking yards.

_PBS6043, Afghanistan, 2008, Hazaras, retouched: 05/27/2013 Kate DaigneaultKabul, Afghanistan

The scope of the problem is vast.
Hundreds of millions of children spend their 

childhood working and do not have an opportunity to
play, go to school, or live in a healthy environment.

INDIA-10461 (1)

INDIA-10207 (1)India

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

YEMEN-10052NF, Hajjah, Yemen, 1999. A shepherd boy tends to his flock.

SAM_2957; Gujarat, Rajasthan, India; 05/22/2008, INDIA-11398India

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies is, 
in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are
cold and are 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.
– Dwight David Eisenhower

PHILIPPINES-10017          Philippines

AFGHN-13034NF (1)Afghanistan

Marpha, Nepal, 1998Nepal

The object of employing children is not to train them,
but to get high profits from their work.

– Lewis Hine, 1908

Woman and her slave

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

There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children.
There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected,
that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want
and that they can grow up in peace.
– Kofi Annan


00018_02. Millet Farmer, the Sahel, Niger, 1995 The Unguarded MomentNiger

Amid attempts to protect elephants from ivory poachers and dolphins from tuna nets,
the rights of children go remarkably unremarked.
– Anna Quindlen

00492_01 Tibetans, 12/2000.Tibet

_DSC1404, India, INDIA-11497India


AFGHN-10025Kabul, Afghanistan

00547_09. Monsoons, Nepal, 1983, 08/1983. A young boy works on a mountainside.Nepal

The real solution is to improve the incomes of the poor and
provide their children with decent education.
– Carol Bellamy

00075_15. Young Boy Selling Flowers, India, 1993India 

Child labour must not become the nation’s social safety net.
– Kailash Satyarthi


There is no room for complacency when 215 million children are still labouring to survive and
more than half of these are exposed to the worst forms of child labour, including slavery and
involvement in armed conflict. We cannot allow the eradication of child labour
to slip down the development agenda — all countries should be striving to
achieve this target, individually and collectively.
– Juan Somavia

_PBS6152, Afghanistan, 2008, Hazaras, retouched: 05/27/2013 Kate DaigneaultAfghanistan

AFGHN-12258_newKandahar, Afghanistan


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