Archive for Rudyard Kipling

Everybody Has a Story

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2011 by stevemccurry


Kabul, Afghanistan


Sidon, Lebanon

Six billion of us walking the planet, six billion smaller worlds
on the bigger one. 

Six billion stories, every one an epic, full of tragedy and triumph,
good and evil, despair and hope.

– Dean Koontz


Baalbek, Lebanon

People are hungry for stories. It’s part of our very being.
Storytelling is a form of history, of immortality too.
It goes from one generation to another.
— Studs Terkel

LEBANON-10067, Lebanon, Druze Elders, 03/1982

Druze Elders, Lebanon

All human beings have an innate need to hear and tell stories and to have a story to live by.
-Harvey Cox


Rajasthan, India


Scientists who study the brain tell us that we are
hardwired for storytelling and
understanding the world through stories and metaphors.

FRANCE-10019, PËre Lachaise Cemetery, France, Political, 08/1988

Père Lachaise Cemetery, France



Shalimar Bagh, Kashmir


If history were taught in the form of stories,
it would never be forgotten

 – Rudyard Kipling


Maimana, Afghanistan

 …Without a story you have not got a nation, or culture, or civilization.
Without a story of your own, you haven’t got a life of your own.
—Laurens Van der Post


Poet Khalil Khoury, Iraq

People did not wait until there was writing before they told stories and sang songs.
— Albert Bates Lord


Golden Temple, Amritsar, India


Near Al Hudaydah, Yemen



Texas, USA

Their story, yours and mine — it’s what we all carry with us on this trip we take, and
we owe it to each other to respect our stories and learn from them.

— William Carlos Williams


Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, USA


Jimmy Swaggart, Louisiana



La Fortuna, Honduras

The universe is made of stories, not atoms.
— Muriel Rukeyser


Rajasthan, India


Flechtingen, Germany


Mike Wallace, 60 Minutes Interview, Beverly Hills Hotel, USA

We are lonesome animals.
We spend all of our life trying to be less lonesome.

One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say and to feel
‘Yes, that is the way it is, or at least that is the way I feel it.’

You’re not as alone as you thought.
— John Steinbeck

BRAZIL-10014NF8, Lavazza, Brazil, 08/2010



I will tell you something about stories, (he said)
They aren’t just entertainment.
Don’t be fooled.
They are all we have, you see,
All we have to fight off
illness and death
– Leslie Marmon Silko


Pristina, Kosovo


Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan

To be a person is to have a story to tell.
—Isak Dinesen


Vrindavan, India

Story behind the picture

The woman in the picture has been a widow for seventy years.
Her husband died when she was 14 years old.
Living in a community of widows since that time, she has made a living as one commissioned to pray for others.
After I made her picture, she invited me to join her for tea.
She spends her days in prayer for people who give her a few rupees.
She lives joyfully, and shows no sign of sorrow, self-pity, or resentment.


3-5 Swallow Street
London W1B 4DE
September 7 –October 15, 2011

2525 Michigan Ave #A1
Santa Monica, CA 90404
September 10 – December 1, 2011
735 Main Avenue
Durango, CO
September 9 – December 14, 2011
Houston, TX
September 17 – October 15, 2011
Museum of Contemporary Art
Rome, Italy
December 1, 2011 – April 29, 2012


The Great Game Changer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2010 by stevemccurry


Bamiyan province, Afghanistan, 2006

The “Great Game” a term popularized by Rudyard Kipling in his novel, Kim, to characterize the intense rivalry between the British Empire and the Russian Empire over dominance in Afghanistan and Central Asia,  seems particularly appropriate now that it has been revealed by the Pentagon that a trillion dollars worth of rare and valuable minerals deposits are in Afghanistan. But, this has not been a secret to many.  


Hindu Kush Mountains, Afghanistan

Miners search for emeralds Hindu Kush Mountains, Afghanistan, 1992

In January 1984 a report was published by the chief engineer of the Afghan Geological Survey Department about Soviet uranium mining in Afghanistan. It revealed that uranium production had begun after the discovery of deposits in 1983.

Soviet engineers were also said to be mining uranium  between Herat and Shindand, and also in  Kandahar province. The uranium projects were restricted to Soviet personnel in order to maintain secrecy and security. It is believed that all production was sent to the Soviet Union.

By 1985 Soviet surveys had also revealed potentially useful deposits of asbestos, nickel, mercury, lead, zinc, bauxite, lithium, and rubies. The Afghan government in the mid-1980’s was preparing to develop a number of these resources on a large scale with Soviet technical assistance. These efforts were directed primarily at the country’s large iron and copper reserves.

The iron ore deposits contained an estimated 1.7 billion tons of mixed hematite and magnetite, averaging 62 percent iron. These reserves, among the world’s largest, are located almost 4,000 meters up in the Hindu Kush,  in Bamiyan Province.

Source:  Illinois Institute of Technology

Charikar, Afghanistan, 2002, NYC65502, MCS2002002 K296final print_milan

Charikar, Afghaistan, 2002


Pul i Khumri, Afghanistan, 2002


Pul i Khumri, Afghanistan, 2002

A 2007  report by the USGS said most of the data on Afghanistan’s mineral resources was produced between the early 1950’s and 1985. The timing of the Pentagon’s announcement is interesting because  the findings on which the story was based are online and have been since 2007.



Pul I Khumri, Afghanistan, 2002


Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines has information on this website about mineral deposits in the country  .


Coal Miner, Pul-i-Kumri, Afghanistan, 2002

Pul i Khumri, Afghanistan, 2002

There is little doubt that the new version of the Great Game will include all the players during Kipling’s time, plus the U.S., China, India, and any other country who seeks an advantage in obtaining a slice of the Afghan pie.  There will be “invaders” waiting to pounce on any opportunity that presents itself.

We can only hope that the Afghan people who have suffered for decades, will get the benefits they so richly deserve.


Steve  McCurry with Coal Miners, Pul I Khumri, Afghanistan, 2002Pul i Khumri, Afghanistan, 2002



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