Archive for Jalalabad

The Spirit of Afghanistan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2015 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

02049_17Kabul

02212_12_es
Bamiyan

“I have the impression that (Afghan) children are
much more excited about going to school than
children in other countries are.  
They think of it as a special privilege.
Going to school, being with other children,
getting books and pencils – all of that is like a dream for them.”  
– Dr. Cheryl Benard, Veiled Courage

AFGHN-10135
Kabul

AFGHN-12772Bamiyan

AFGHN-13707Herat

AFGHN-13080NF2
Near the Afghan/Pakistan border

AFGHN-12883Near the Afghan/Pakistan border

AFGHN-10149
Kabul

If literacy rates were measured by a nation’s proverbs and poetry,
Afghanistan would be one of the most literate countries on earth.
These two forms of the oral
tradition have been embraced for
centuries and reveal the spirit and soul
of the Afghan people.

AFGHN-10227
Jabal os Saraj

AFGHN-12074NFLake at Band i Amir

AFGHN-12236NF3
Kabul

In Afghanistan, the tradition of poetry writing and recitation dates back a thousand years.
To lend credibility to an argument, the preface,
“The poet says…”   denies the listener the opportunity to disagree.

AFGHN-12348
Pul i Khumri

02211_05_es
Kabul

AFGHN-12350
Maimana

AFGHN-12373NF3
Bamiyan

AFGHN-12906Bamiyan

AFGHN-12691NF2
Kabul

Kabul
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

00206_03, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2002 final print_milan retouched_Sonny Fabbri 7/05/2015Kabul

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-12909Bamiyan

AFGHN-14041Bamiyan

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

Jalalabad, Afghanistan, 1992, AFGHN-10225. Portrait of a man with cloudy beard. MAX PRINT SIZE: 30X40 final print_milan Portraits_Book In The Shadow of the Mountain_Book Looking East_Book PORTRAITS_book PORTRAITS_APP final print_Beetles and Huxley NYC9239, MCS1992006 K103 Retouched_Sonny Fabbri 02/05/2014 MAX PRINT SIZE: 30X40
Jalalabad

 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-10242Kandahar

AFGHN-12258_newKandahar

Up to their ankles in mud, villages near Kandahar clear accumulated silt
from a karez, 
or underground channel, an ancient irrigation method.

00113_18, Shia Mosque, Chindawal,Kabul, Afghanistan, 2002. AFGHN-12669. A woman in Afghanistan. retouched_Sonny Fabbri 7/15/2015
Chindawal, Kabul

00214_06, Hazrat Ali Mosque, Mazar i Sharif, Afghanistan, 1992, AFGHN-10164NF7. Salat at Blue Mosque in Mazar-Sharif, Afghanistan, 1992. MAX PRINT SIZE: 30x40 Hazrat Ali Mosque final print_HERMITAGE final print_Zurich final print_Beetles and Huxley Fine Art Print retouched_Sonny Fabbri 05/28/2014
Mazar-e-Sharif

Please visit Imagine-Asia.net
to see our educational initiatives in Afghanistan.

instagram.com/imagine_asia

River of Life

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2015 by stevemccurry

For more than 2000 years, travelers have walked, ridden,
prayed, traded, invaded, escaped, fought, and
died along the 1,500 miles of the Grand Trunk Road
which stretches from Kolkata to Kabul.

Tram, Calcutta, India, 1996; A Tram, Calcutta, India, 1996 MCS1996002 K010 Magnum Photos, NYC5923 Kolkata, India

This ribbon of humanity stretching Northwest from Kolkata,
the city of culture and joy, to Kabul, the city of conflict,
has been moving merchants, buyers, conquerors, refugees,
prophets, nomads and pilgrims through what is today
India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

01896_11, 508665, India 50 Years After, Calcutta, India, 10/1996, INDIA-10379. An Indian woman prepares a meal under a shampoo advertisement. India_Book retouched_Sonny Fabbri 02/03/2015

Kolkata, India

Here are some pictures of people and places I have taken along the route of the
Grand Trunk Road during the past thirty years.

Street scene, Calcutta, India, 1996
Kolkata, India

Howrah Station, Calcutta, India, 1983 As the midday sun streams through the skylights, passengers wait for their trains. Like a movie frozen in time, one can almost hear the noise of people talking, walking, coughing and laughing, and the clatter and screech of the trains as they arrive and depart, the sounds echoing beneath the high ceilings. Howrah Station, Calcutta, India, 1983. Pg. 27, Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs Phaidon, Iconic Images, final book_iconic The Imperial Way_Book Untold_book The Great Railway Bazaar_Book
Howrah Station, Kolkata

Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, 2000, INDIA-10299. MAX PRINT SIZE: 40x60 Candles are a form of offering at the Tibetan Prayer Festival, during which thousands are lit under the Bodi tree. India's Mahabodhi Temple is steps from where Siddhartha achieved enlightenment and became the Buddha. His Four Noble Truths: Life entails suffering; suffering arises from attachment to desires; suffering stops when attachment does; to transcend life's pain, follow the Eightfold Path. A key practice is meditation. Magnum Photos, NYC31844, MCS2000009K010 Garfinkel, Perry. (December 2005). Buddha Rising. National Geographic. Vol.208, No.6, 95 Tibetan prayer festival at the site of the Bodhi tree, where Budda achieved enlightenment, Bodh Gaya, India, 2000. Pg 218, Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs. The Path to Buddha_Book Untold_book final print_UrbanArt'12 final print_milan Fine Art Print Retouched_Sonny Fabbri 05/21/2014
Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India

 Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism all developed along the route,
and Muslims proclaimed their beliefs on their journeys along the road.

Man immersed in American consumerism, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, 2000. Magnum Photos, NYC31911, MCS2003002 K019
Bihar, India

Woman in Alleyway Varanasi. INDIA-10906, Varanasi, India, 2010
Varanasi, India

Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, 1999, INDIA-10223NF. A man takes a drink of water from the river. final print_milan final print_Sao Paulo India_Book retouched_Sonny Fabbri 02/26/2015
Agra, India

“Look! Brahmins and chumars, bankers and tinkers,
barbers and bunnias, pilgrims – and potters – all the world going and coming.
It is to me as a river from which I am
withdrawn like a log after a flood.
And truly the Grand Trunk Road is a wonderful spectacle.
Such a river of life as no where else exists in the world.”
– Rudyard Kipling, Kim

00314_14, Dacca to Peshawar, Agra, India, 1983, INDIA-10711NF. People under a bridge with a passing train. The train is essential element of Indian life. For those unable to afford journey by plane, it offers an inexpensive way to travel throughout country. While working on his 'India by Rail' story for National Geographic Magazine, McCurry captured locals washing in the Yamuna River as a steam train passes by above. Phaidon, The Imperial Way, Iconic Images, final book_iconic National Geographic, June 1984, By Rail Across the Indian Subcontinent, Vol. 165, No. 6 The Imperial Way_Book India_Book retouched_Sonny Fabbri 02/25/2015
Bridge over Yamuna River near Agra, India

Two Monks at Red Fort, New Delhi, India, 1979 final print_milan final print_UrbanArt'12 retouched_Sonny Fabbri
Red Fort, Delhi, India

Allahabad, India, 1/2001, INDIA-10538. Hindu devotees walking towards Ganges during the Kumbha Mela Festival. retouched_Ekaterina Savtsova 9/11/2014
Kumbh Mela, Hindu Pilgrimage, Allahabad, India

Amritsar, Punjab, India, 1996, INDIA-10440. Man with spear and horse. NYC65119, MCS1996002 K267 retouched_Sonny Fabbri 03/27/2015Amritsar, India

Along the route of the GT there is a  struggle between secular
modernity and the conservatism of ancient religions.

Amritsar, India, 1996, INDIA-10201.These men are praying before the Ber Baba Buddha tree, under which Baba Buddha, one of the gurus of Sikhism, would sit and meditate. In the background can be seen the famous Golden Temple. There is a satisfying visual balance between the three men all engaged in the act of worship. National Geographic Magazine. Vol. 191, No. 7, pg. 54, May 1997, India: Fifty Years of Independence. Magnum Photos, NYC5925, MCS1996002 K031 Phaidon, South Southeast, Iconic Images, final book_iconic, iconic photographs The tranquil and peaceful site of the Golden Temple, also known as Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib, completed in 1601 in Amritsar, Punjab, as a pilgrimage center and most sacred temple for the Sikhs. Steve McCurry: Photographs of Asia. Boca Raton Museum of Art. 2004, 44.The Golden Temple in Amritsar serves as the spiritual center for the world's 20 million Sikhs.
Golden Temple, Sikh Holiest Place of Worship, Amritsar, India

 The Grand Trunk Road served as the two way escape route for
75 million refugees caught between Indian and Pakistan during Partition.

00313_20, Decca to Peshawar, 1983, Rawalpindi, Pakistan, PAKISTAN-10101. A woman in front a of a mural. retouched_Ekaterina Savtsova 03/21/2014Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Peshawar is strategically located at the crossroads of Central and South Asia

00063_10, Afghan border, Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984, PAKISTAN-10188. Quissa Khawani Bazaar, the Market of Storytellers, Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984. MAX PRINT SIZE: 40X60 MCS1984005K053, NYC134799 The Imperial Way_Book The Great Railway Bazaar_Book retouched_Sonny Fabbri 11/04/2014
Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Prayers, Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984 In a scene that has changed little in hundreds of years, these men are facing west towards Mecca, performing the sunset prayer: Salt Al-Maghrib. As dusk falls over the region, the red glow spreads out from the mountains as the men's teacher delivers a lesson, 11/1984 Phaidon, Iconic Images, final book_iconic, page 64. Iconic_Book
Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

01580_08, Peshawar, Pakistan, 1997, PAKISTAN-10157. A woman carries a sewing machine. Retouched_Sonny Fabbri 08/01/2013
Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

00286_01, 01535_12, Landi Kotal, Pakistan, 1983, PAKISTAN-10006 Train engineer, Khyber Pass, Landi Kotal, Pakistan, 1983. Pg 45, Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs Portraits_Book The Imperial Way_Book PORTRAITS_book Untold_bookLandi Kotal, Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan

AFGHN-10025 (1)
Near the Afghan/Pakistan border

02087_14_, Afghan Border, 12/1984, AFGHN-14245NF. Train of camels walk down road by Afghan Border. retouched_Ekaterina Savtsova 04/15/2015 Near the Afghan/Pakistan Border

02087_10, Afghan Border, 12/1984, AFGHN-14378. Crowded market in Afghanistan. retouched_Ekaterina Savtsova 04/15/2015
Near the Afghan/Pakistan border

AFGHN-13080NF2 (3)Village near Surobi, Afghanistan

Children work in an opium field in Badakhshan, which is Afghanistan's largest producer of opium, Badakhshan, northern Afghanistan, 1992, final print_milan In The Shadow of the Mountain_Book final print_MACRO'11 final print_Beetles and Huxley Retouched_Sonny Fabbri 03/18/2014

Jalalabad, Afghanistan, 1992, AFGHN-10225. Portrait of a man with cloudy beard. MAX PRINT SIZE: 30X40 final print_milan Portraits_Book In The Shadow of the Mountain_Book Looking East_Book PORTRAITS_book PORTRAITS_APP final print_Beetles and Huxley NYC9239, MCS1992006 K103 Retouched_Sonny Fabbri 02/05/2014 MAX PRINT SIZE: 30X40
Jalalabad, Nangahar Province, Afghanistan

AFGHN-12467NF, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2002, AFGHN-12467NF. Girl standing in the doorway of her home. This young girl lives in the ancient part of Kabul, which until the past decade was almost destroyed due to decades of war. Organizations like Turquoise Mountain (@TurquoiseMountain) are restoring parts of the old city, and are working to re-imagine and resurrect almost-forgotten crafts in order to provide people with skills which will enable them to have gainful employment. retouched_Sonny Fabbri 03/04/2015 Murad Khani, Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul is over 3,500 years old; many empires have  invaded the valley for its
strategic location along the trade routes of Central and South Asia.

00113_18, Shia Mosque, Chindawal,Kabul, Afghanistan, 2002. AFGHN-12669. A woman in Afghanistan. retouched_Sonny Fabbri 7/15/2015
Chindawal, Kabul, Afghanistan

AFGHN-12691NF2 (2)Kabul, Afghanistan

Along this road, forged by conquerors and invaders,
the GT facilitated some of the most significant historical developments which still affect us today.
==
Route_of_grand_trunk_road

River of Life

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2012 by stevemccurry

KOLKATA TO KABUL

Kolkata/Calcutta

“Look! Brahmins and chumars, bankers and tinkers,
barbers and bunnias,pilgrims -and potters -all the world going and coming.
It is to me as a river from which I am
withdrawn like a log after a flood.
And truly the Grand Trunk Road is a wonderful spectacle.
Such a river of life as no where else exists in the world.”
– Rudyard Kipling, Kim

Kolkata

Howrah Bridge

For more than 20 centuries, travelers have walked, ridden, prayed, traded, invaded, escaped,
fought, and died along the 1,500 miles of the Grand Trunk Road which stretches from Kolkata to Kabul.

On the GTR in Bihar State, India

Here are some pictures of people and places I have taken along the route of the Grand Trunk Road during the past thirty years.

Varanasi, India

Varanasi, India

Varanasi, India

Agra, India

Near Agra, India

 Red Fort, Delhi

Allahabad, India

Kumbh Mela, Allahabad, India

 Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism all developed along the route,
and Muslims proclaimed their beliefs on their journeys along the road.

Kumbh Mela, Allahabad, India

Amritsar, India

Amritsar, India

Sikh Golden Temple, Amritsar, India

 The Grand Trunk Road served as the two way escape route for
75 million refugees caught between Indian and Pakistan during Partition.

Lahore, Pakistan

Rawalpindi, Pakistan


Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Peshawar, Pakistan

Peshawar, Pakistan
Peshawar has been a haven for Afghan refugees during decades of war.

Outside of Peshawar, Pakistan

Peshawar is strategically located at the crossroads of Central and South Asia.


Landi-Kotal, Pakistan
Near the border with Afghanistan

 Khyber Pass connects Pakistan and Afghanistan

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

This ribbon of humanity stretching Northwest from Kolkata, the city of culture and joy, to Kabul, the city of conflict,
has been moving merchants, buyers, conquerors, refugees, prophets, nomads and pilgrims through what is today
India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

On the road to Sarobi

Along this road, forged by conquerors and invaders,
the GT facilitated some of the most significant historical developments which affect us today.

Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul is over 3,500 years old; many empires have  invaded the valley for its
strategic location along the trade routes of Central and South Asia.

 Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan

Along the route of the GT there is a  struggle between secular modernity and the conservatism of ancient religions.

The Longest War

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 28, 2012 by stevemccurry

Kabul Cemetery

As hard as outsiders have tried to subdue and “re-create” the country in their own image,
Afghanistan has been able to absorb the blows of superpowers, and
remain essentially the same.

Jalalabad


The interesting thing is that the people trying to change it,

change more than the country does even after
Herculean efforts of governments, NGO’s, and coalitions.

Burning School, Kabul


The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The problem is that intentions which are based on faulty and naive
assumptions are doomed to failure.

Mujahadeen head toward Kabul as Russians leave


In spite of the failed attempt by the powerful Soviet army
to bring the country under its control,

the “deciders” still had the fantasy that we could do what
hadn’t been done before.

 Those “deciders” did not have even the basic
understanding of the country, the history, the people,

the terrain, the language, the religion, the culture.

Mujahadeen holds up decapitated head of Afghan Army soldier

Lieut. Col. Daniel Davis, in an analysis of the situation in Afghanistan titled, “Truth, Lies,
and Afghanistan” published in The Armed Forces Journal in February, 2012, wrote,
“I witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level”
in his rebuttal to the military’s assertion that the war was going well and that the Coalition
was making progress.  He charged the military leadership with misleading
the American public.

Red Cross Hospital

Davis reported that he had repeatedly seen top commanders
falsely dress up dismal situations including
General Petreus in testimony to Congress.

Red Cross Hospital, Kabul


During the months I traveled with the Mujahadeen, I witnessed a deep camaraderie
amongst the fighters who were on the greatest mission of their lives.
They weren’t looking at the calendar.

They didn’t even worry much about casualty numbers.
The harder the fight was, the stronger they became.

Mujahadeen with family members cross into Pakistan


Walking in the snow without boots high up in the Hindu Kush was commonplace.

Those men were as tough as it gets.

AFGHN-10249

Kabul

Military Hospital in Kabul

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies,
in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and 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.
This is not a way of life at all in any true sense.
Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
– Dwight David Eisenhower

Former Soldier in Makeshift Mental Hospital



Afghanistan: A Look Back

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2011 by stevemccurry

Early Days | The Soviet Invasion

1979, 1980

AFGHN-10260

Nuristan, Afghanistan

I slipped into Afghanistan across the border with Pakistan in 1979.  I went with a couple of guides who did not speak English.
I certainly didn’t speak Dari or Pashto so our only form of communication was improvised sign language.
I was woefully unprepared. Among my belongings were a plastic cup, a Swiss Army knife, two camera bodies, four lenses,
a bag of film and a few bags of airline peanuts.

A photograph I made of a helicopter that had been sabotaged by the Mujahadeen.
This was near an army garrison which had defected en masse. New York Times, December 27, 1979

Two government collaborators executed by Mujahadeen near Jalalabad

Two government collaborators executed by Mujahadeen near Jalalabad

 My naiveté was breathtaking, yet my Afghan guides protected me and treated me as their guest.
It was my first experience with the legendary Afghan hospitality.

Fathers and sons fought side by side

Fathers and sons fought side by side

  

Evening Prayers

Evening Prayers

 

Planting land mines in Logar Province to thwart the government troops' advance

Planting land mines in Logar Province to thwart the government troops’ advance

 

Young boy joins guerilla movement in Nuristan

Young boy joins guerilla movement in Nuristan

 

 Praying along the Kunar River

Praying along the Kunar River

I went back when the Russians invaded.
I traveled with many different mujahadeen and militia groups.
We mainly traveled at night to avoid being spotted by the Soviet helicopters.
Most of the time we walked, but a few times we were able to borrow horses.

AFGHN-13316

Mujahadeen mourn loss of their brother-in-arms

I was always astonished at the continual pipeline of weapons and supplies going into Afghanistan from Pakistan around the clock.
Rockets, mortar rounds, ammunition, were carried in by camels, donkeys, and fighters.
It was only later that we found out the staggering amount of money supplied by the U.S. to make it happen.

 

When I went back over the border into Pakistan, I had blisters, saddle sores, and filthy clothing into which I had sewn rolls of film,
which were among the first images of the conflict.

AFGHN-13284

Fighters carry a disassembled Russian anti-aircraft gun to move it to a
position overlooking the valley

 

AFGHN-13276NF2

   I visited a government garrison at Asmar District, Kunar Province,  where three hundred soldiers defected to the Mujahadeen.  New York Times, December 29, 1979

I visited a government garrison at Asmar District, Kunar Province, where three hundred soldiers defected to the Mujahadeen.
New York Times, December 29, 1979

Christian Science Monitor, January, 1980

Christian Science Monitor, January, 1980

AFGHN-13333NF

TIME Magazine, April, 1980 I took these pictures in Nangahar Province. My coverage over several trips for TIME, was the basis for winning the Robert Capa Gold Medal award.

TIME Magazine, April, 1980
I took these pictures in Nangahar Province.
My coverage over several trips for TIME, was the basis for
winning the Robert Capa Gold Medal award.

AFGHN-13202; Afghanistan; 1980

Strategy session in Kunar Province

Stern Magazine, 1980 Mujahadeen using goat skins to cross rivers

Stern Magazine, 1980
Mujahadeen using goat skins to cross rivers

International Herald Tribune, 1980

International Herald Tribune, 1980

AFGHN-13431

Commanders meet with tribal elders in Nangahar Province

Paris Match, 1980. I made this photograph of government soldiers in Kunar Province.

Paris Match, 1980.
I made this photograph of government soldiers in Kunar Province.

AFGHN-13321

Men used weapons from swords and axes to ancient guns and rocket propelled grenades

Over the years, I went back more than dozens of times on assignment for National Geographic, Time Magazine, ABC News,
and other news outlets.  I have spent time in Afghanistan during invasions, retreats, truces, and relative peace.
Almost every time I returned, the power centers had shifted. In a great game of musical chairs, elders, warlords, criminals, and
mullahs’ power grows and diminishes as predictably as the phases of the moon.

AFGHN-13269

AFGHN-13198; Afghanistan; 1980. A young girl holds her sibling.

Many families left their destroyed villages to live with relatives
in other regions of the country

 

AFGHN-13267

Nari District, Kunar Province

AFGHN-13279

As much as outsiders have tried to “re-form” the country in their own
image, Afghanistan  has been able to absorb the blows of superpowers, and
remain essentially the same.

AFGHN-13388

The interesting thing  is that the people trying to change it,  change more than the country
does even after Herculean efforts of  governments, NGO’s, and coalitions.

 

00829_01, Afghanistan, 1980, AFGHN-13342

AFGHN-13343NF

This village was destroyed by government forces in the Spring of 1979 because they had
given refuge to Mujahadeen.

The viciousness of the Soviet attacks forced millions to flee their homes for Pakistan and Iran, and
contributed to what the Afghanistan scholar, Louis Dupree, called “Migratory Genocide.”
By 1986, five million Afghans had left their country.

AFGHN-13366

Forty-six percent of all casualties were caused by bombings from airplanes or helicopters.

We invite you to see this blog on our new website:  http://www.stevemccurry.com

AFGHN-12970NF2

Between Darkness and Light

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2011 by stevemccurry

UGANDA-10002 Kampala, Uganda

 Shadows:  The places between darkness and light

Young Cambodian boys play in the ruins of Preah Khan near Angkor Wat, Cambodia.  Preah Khan, surrounded by jungle, is named for a sacred sword Jayavarman II left to his successor, is still guarded by his descendants.  Preah Khan, Angkor, Cambodia, 1999.Cambodia

“Look round and round upon this bare bleak plain, and see even here, upon a winter’s day, how beautiful the shadows are.
  Alas!  It is the nature of their kind to be so.
The lovliest things in life are but shadows, and they come and go, and change and fade away…”

– Charles Dickens 

AFGHN-10156Kabul, Afghanistan

War's toll on the psyche is etched on faces at Marastun, a shelter for the mentally ill in Kabul.  Afghans tell of relatives gone made from years of dodging bombs or being forced to fight alongside Soviets against the mujahidin.Kabul, Afghanistan

00230_ 008, Mazar i Sharif, Afghanistan, 2002, AFGHN-10133Afghanistan

Burma, 2010Burma/Myanmar

CAMBODIA-10126Cambodia

INDIA-10298nsBodh Gaya, India

00246_01 An Indian girl peers out of a train window, 1983.Girl peeks out a train window, India

Mud mosque, Djenne, Mali, 1986. MALI-10012NF7 Unguarded Moment_BookMud Mosque, Mali

DSC_4269; japan; 05/2011; may; 2011, JAPAN-10101NF2After the earthquake and tsunami, Japan, 2011 

PHILIPPINES-10048; Philippines, 03/1986Philippines

VIETNAM-10007Vietnam

VIETNAM-10004Vietnam

YUGOSLAVIA-10032, Yugoslavia, 1989Croatia

USA-10294Grand Central Terminal, New York

INDIA-10204
Train Station, Old Delhi, India 

 “The Sun never knew how wonderful it was until it fell on the wall of a building.”

Louis Kahn, Architect
quoted in the forward of  the book,
In Praise of Shadows,  Junichiro Tanizaki

CAMBODIA-10052Cambodia

FRANCE-10028, France, 1989  Marseilles, France

AFGHN-10225Jalalabad, Afghanistan 

Ways of Seeing

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2011 by stevemccurry

Windows, Mirrors, and Reflections

Tibetans, Tibet, 2001Tibet

I can’t play bridge. I don’t play tennis.
All those things that people learn, and I admire, there hasn’t seemed time for.
But what there is time for is looking out the window.
– Alice Munro

KASHMIR-10064Kashmir

 BURMA-10214Shwedagon Pagoda, Burma/Myanmar

KASHMIR-10107Kashmir

“The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled.”   – John Berger

BURMA-10166NF, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma, February 2010Burma/Myanmar

AFGHN-13140
Hazara Boy, Kabul, Afghanistan

THAILAND-10025, Thailand; 2007Thailand

INDIA-10289India

Sauna, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2002Kabul, Afghanistan

 Mirrors have been the subject of ancient myths, folktales, literature, and superstitions for centuries.
They are often used as a metaphor for insight into one’s self.   

Restaurant, Kunduz, Afghanistan, 2002, final book_iconicKunduz, Afghanistan

Lebanon-10045, Lebanon, 03/1982Beirut, Lebanon

00202_ 20, Woman in Photography Studio in Lhasa, Tibet, Tibetans, 09/2001, 2001Tibet

 Yangon, Burma, February 2010Yangon, Burma/Myanmar

Mirror
 
I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see, I swallow immediately.
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike
I am not cruel, only truthful
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
– Sylvia Plath

AFGHN-12590, Jalalabad, Nangarhar, Afghanistan, 1989Jalalabad,  Afghanistan

_SM18082_adj; Cuba; 2010, LATIN_AMERICA-10142 Havana, Cuba

PAKISTAN-10030NF2, Pakistan, 1981,Pakistan

BURMA-10372NF2, Burma/Myanmar, 02/2011 Burma/Myanmar

 In Greek mythology, Narcissus, looking into a pool of water, did not understand that
he saw his own reflection, and fell in love with himself.

INDIA-10754-(1)Agra, India

 

“I became startled by the extraordinary difference between something whose surface is completely invisible which only makes itself present by virtue of what it reflects, and a window, which doesn’t make itself apparent at all…”
–  Jonathan Miller
INDIA-10538
India, Kumbh Mela
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