afghn-12211

In by Sebastian Ebbinghaus

Camel Caravan, Afghanistan (1980)

afghn-10153

In by Sebastian Ebbinghaus

Band-i-Amir, Bamyan, Afghanistan, 2002, AFGHN-10153. A horse runs across the Band-i-Amir landscape.

“High in the cold mountains of Afghanistan, a colt runs after its mother, set against the dramatic backdrop of a pristine lake few have seen. The scene in this distant place seems primal. But the natural rock formations at the edge of the cliff assert a strange presence here. McCurry’s mind is taken back to the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and the irony of their echo here in Afghanistan.” – Phaidon 55

Band-i-Amir is the name given to a chain of lakes that lies approximately 80 kilometres west of Bamiyan in the Hindu Kush mountains. McCurry has been continually drawn back to this remote area of the country. On this occasion he captured a colt hurrying after its mother. In the background we see two vertical rock formations. Taken just months after the attacks on the World Trade Center, the two natural towers strike a sombre note.

National Geographic, November 2003, Afghanistan: Between War and Peace

Phaidon, 55, Iconic Images, final book_iconic, final print_milan, iconic photographs

On a peaceful plateau over Bandi Amir Lakes, crumbling towers evoke a turbulent past. Afghanistan, 2002.
Girardet, Edward (November 2003). Afghanistan Between War and Peace. National Geographic. 204 (5)., 30-31

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afghn-10130

In by Sebastian Ebbinghaus

00957_13, 719461, Kandahar, Afghanistan, 1992, AFGHN-10130. Kuchi nomads at prayer, near Kandahar.

Kuchi Nomads, Evening Prayers

The Kuchi are a nomadic tribe of Pashtuns from southwestern and eastern Afghanistan. McCurry here pictures a group at prayer. They are performing the Salat Al-Maghrib, or evening prayer, which takes place just after sunset until the last light fades. They face southwest towards Mecca. The deep incandescence of the day’s end makes for a primeval scene.

“A group of tribal nomads in the desert near Kandahar faces west toward Mecca to offer the fourth of five daily Muslim prayers, “An Afghan shepherd, or ‘Kuchi,’ as they are referred to, was once part of a nomadic tribe which would spend winters in the lowlands of Pakistan, and summers traveling to the mountainous regions of Afghanistan. This tradition was disrupted during the long Afghan civil war. Kuchis to this day are injured by land mines which were laid by both government forces.”

– George Eastman House

National Geographic Magazine. Vol. 184, No. 4, pgs. 88-89, October 1993, Afghanistan’s Uneasy Peace.

Magnum Photos, NYC5930, MCS1994002 K020

Phaidon, Iconic Images, final book_iconic, page 102.

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afghn-10128

In by Sebastian Ebbinghaus

Afghan Women at Shoe Store, Kabul (1992)

afghn-10124

In by Sebastian Ebbinghaus

Bombed townscape, Herat, Afghanistan, 1992

Afghan War Refugees return to their war-torn neighborhood which was ravaged by twelve years of war.
National Geographic: Richard Mackenzie. (Oct 1993). Afghanistan’s Uneasy Peace. National Geographic. 184 (4), 58-59

For McCurry this scene suggested the destruction of Dresden at the end of World War II. However, when he took this photograph the war with the Soviet Union had ended some years before and family members had returned to their ruined homes to reunite and rebuild their city.

“I was on a hill, before me a city the Russians had bombed for 10 years; devastation as far as the eye could see. I was there when the first few came back. Since then, it’s completely filled. You can’t recognise it. I photographed this over five or six days, at different times of day.” from ‘Steve McCurry’ by Anthony Bannon”

National Geographic, Richard Mackenzie, Afghanistan’s Uneasy Peace, 1993, October 1993, 184 (4), 58-59

Magnum Photos, NYC6225, MCS1994002 K215

Phaidon, 55, South Southeast, In the Shadow of Mountains, Iconic Images, final book_iconic, final print_milan, iconic photographs

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