Archive for mali

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.

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

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

Exhibition Information

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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

Silent Language of Hands

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2013 by stevemccurry


Behold the hands
how they promise, conjure, appeal, menace, pray, supplicate, 

refuse, beckon, interrogate, admire, confess, cringe, instruct, command, 
mock and what not besides, with a variation and multiplication of
variation which makes the tongue envious.
– Michel de Montaigne


Sharbat Gula, Nasir Bagh Refugee Camp, Peshawar, Pakistan




Our hands often reveal what we really think but do not say.
They can show a range of feelings and emotions from confusion and frustration
to joy, understanding, love, and compassion. 



Among all species, our human hands are unique — not only in what they can accomplish,
but also in how they communicate. Human hands can paint the Sistine Chapel, pluck a guitar,
maneuver surgical instruments, chisel a David, forge steel, and write poetry.
They can grasp, scratch, poke, punch, feel, sense, evaluate, hold and mold the world around us.
– Joe Navarro


Florida, United States



New York City, United States

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us,
we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions,or cures,
 have chosen rather to share our pain
 and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.
– Henri Nouwen



Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted
according to the graces we 
have received and
let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.
– Mother Teresa



Hands calm us, feed us, and scratch our backs.
They intimidate, bless, encourage, and stop us.  They soothe and caress.
They draw our attention to the good and the bad, often suggesting exuberance or fear.
– Charles Flowers introduction to Elliott Erwitt’s Handbook









Hands have saved lives and taken them just as easily.
They create the saviors of life as well as the purveyors of death.
Creating and destroying with a single move
a finger can move mountains or search the unknown heavens.
Hands live to caress and love.
Hands live to fight and die.
Forever living hands, forever exploring hands.
– Bruce Alan Humphrey



To receive everything, one must open one’s hands and give.
– Taisen Deshimaru



Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes.
Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as
beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.
– Rumi ( 1207 – 1273)






Hold a true friend with both hands
– African Proverb



To pray means to open your hands before God.
– Henri Nouwen


United States



Kunar Province, Afghanistan

Kunar Province, Afghanistan



The hands which beckon,
embrace, soothe, and comfort us
Bid us farewell.

00443_14; 00443_ 010; Uganda; Africa; 2001;


…For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch, And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.
Romeo and Juliet, Act I, Scene 5
-William Shakespeare




Power of Play

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


It is a happy talent to know how to play.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson



Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a
tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.
– Henri Matisse



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












Men do not quit playing because they grow old;
they grow old because they quit playing.

– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.






Play is the exultation of the possible.
– Martin Buber



A child loves his play, not because it’s easy,
but because it’s hard.
– Benjamin Spock



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






In play a child always behaves beyond his average age, above his daily behavior.
In play it is as though he were a head taller than himself.
– Lev Vygotsky



When children pretend, they’re using their imaginations to
move beyond the bounds of reality.

A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet.
A small child can be a superhero.
– Fred Rogers









Ritual grew up in sacred play; poetry was born in play and nourished on play;
music and dancing were pure play….
We have to conclude, therefore,

that civilization is, in its earliest phases, played…
– Johan Huizinga






Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.
– Diane Ackerman 




00253_10, YEMEN-10058NF, Yemen, 1997


Play, while it cannot change the external realities of children’s lives,
can be a vehicle for children to explore and enjoy their differences and similarities,
and to create, even for a brief time, a more just world
where everyone is an equal and valued participant.
– Patricia G. Ramsey





Play is the highest form of research.
– attributed to Albert Einstein




_SM15729_adj, Cuba, 2010, CUBA-00004


Sometimes you have to drop the rake and play in the leaves.
– Douglas V’Soske

BURMA-10280; Mandalay; Burma; 02/2011final print_MACRO



Varanasi, India, 2010



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