Borrowed: Steve McCurry's Afghan Girl

Afghan Girl

About ten years ago, I had the opportunity to see a gallery of Steve McCurry photographs at a local high school, and there is always something special about seeing a real photographic print of an image seen countless times in magazines and televisions. The photo of the Afghan Girl is National Geographic’s most recognizable photo, making the June 1985 cover. Responding in a recent interview to the question of why this particular image has become so famous, McCurry says:

I think it’s a combination of several things. First of all she’s a very beautiful little girl. I think there’s an ambiguity, a mystery about her expression. I think there’s a kind of haunted, troubled quality on one level, but there’s also fortitude, perseverance, respect, and pride to her look. It’s clear that she’s poor. She has this torn shawl. But with her poverty she has this dignity.

Despite the fact that nearly everyone in the western world has seen this portrait, Steve McCurry is no one-hit wonder, so be sure to visit McCurry’s website.

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