Taschen is publishing a major new book collating Steve McCurry’s 40 years of travelling to Afghanistan. Renowned for his 1984 portrait Afghan Girl, the Magnum photographer has spent decades documenting the country’s people and landscapes. This 256-page tome features 140 images, aiming to capture the “war and grace” of Afghanistan and highlighting McCurry’s unique way of depicting these conflicting traits.
“Afghanistan is a country overwhelmed by tribal rivalries, colonial wars, and geo-political conflict,” Taschen states. “The Afghans have always called their mountains ‘the land of rebellion’. Yet born of such chaos, such entrenched conflict are these most breathtaking and beautiful of images.”
Like his most famous portrait, Philadelphia-born McCurry’s newly presented retrospective of work has a timeless, painterly quality, says the publisher, at odds with its battle-torn backdrop. For the series, McCurry has often put himself at risk – akin to many war photographers – venturing into territory controlled at various times by the Mujahideen, the Russians, and the Taliban, photographing all aspects of the country, “from the desert of Kandahar to the streets of Kabul and rivers of Nuristan”.
Steve McCurry’s Afghanistan is published by Taschen.
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