Archive for Pakistan

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.

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. 



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


We invite you to download our free Portraits app which includes
two hundred Portraits from fifty countries.

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

Please follow us on Tumblr

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


Grief, Grind, and Glory of Work

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2013 by stevemccurry

Last month the world heard the tragic news
that more than a thousand people working at a clothing factory in Bangladesh,
were killed when 
the factory they were working in collapsed.

Myanmar, Burma, 1994, final book_iconicBurma

The appetite for cheap clothing in the West is insatiable.
The people making the clothing  often pay the true cost of these items.
The scale of this factory in Burma is vast.
The sense that these workers are just part of an immense machine is
accentuated by 
the pink shirts they are obliged to wear.

BURMA-10221NF, Myanmar (Burma), 07/1994Burma

Labor disgraces no man;
unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.  

– Ulysses S. Grant


Whether it is men fishing,  nuns washing dishes, miners digging beneath the earth, or 
working in the heat of a steel mill, work is universal, yet intensely personal. Millions work in order to survive, and for them,
is no debate about how to achieve a life/work balance.  

INDONESIA-10006Woman working in a field devastated by volcanic debris and flood waters.  Java, Indonesia

INDIA-10330NFShoe repair shop in India

Life grants nothing to us mortals without hard work.
– Horace



Your life is a journey, not a rest.
You are travelling to the promised land, from the cradle to the grave.
The Sunday at Home, December 7th 1854

INDIA-11144, India, Bombay, 1997Mumbai, India

Gujarat, India

The heights by great men reached and kept,
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

YUGOSLAVIA-10068MKS Steelworks, Serbia


Working for long periods under extreme stressful work conditions can lead to
sudden death, a phenomenon the Japanese call karoshi. The word in China is guolaosi.

PAKISTAN-10006NFLandi Kotal, Pakistan

AFGHN-10146Bakery run by Afghan widows, Kabul, Afghanistan

Dubrovnik, Croatia, 1989Croatia

Many find their identity in the work they do. Some enjoy intense satisfaction in their work.
For others, the line between work and play is hard to find.

Tibetans, 07/2001, final book_iconicIndia

INDIA-10679NF2, Bombay, India, 09/1993. Textiles,
           Mumbai, India

A suger cane farmer stand in his field in Luzon, Philippines, 1985Sugar cane farmer, Philippines

Everything yields to diligence.
– Thomas Jefferson

BRAZIL-10044NF8, Brazil, Latin America, Lavazza, 08/2010Drying coffee beans, Brazil

If a man is called a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or
Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of
heaven and Earth will pause to say, Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.  
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

KASHMIR-10016Flower Seller, Dal Lake, Kashmir

Please follow us on Tumblr

Please download our free app:


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36,124 other followers