The 140 Images That Define Steve McCurry’s Afghanistan

All photos by Steve McCurry, published by Taschen

Capturing the danger, beauty and chaos of an untamed land.

Taschen has released a 256-page retrospective on the prolific work of Steve McCurry, spanning the fourty odd years he’s spent photographing war torn Afghanistan. With a portfolio spanning decades, McCurry has somehow managed to cull an endless collection down to just 140 images, of which you can find in this book. Striking portraits, breathtaking landscapes and destruction caused by warring internal and external forces—they’re images that have made McCurry a household name.  And none more so than the ‘Afghan Girl‘ portrait that made covers across the world in 1984, and headlines again this year due to the unfair arrest of the now grown woman from the photo.

One of the pioneers of photography in this region, Taschen tells the story of McCurry’s first ever trip to a land he’d unknowingly find himself bound to for the next 40 years: “His first trip to Afghanistan in 1979 involved him dressing in Afghan garb in order to be smuggled across the border from Pakistan. That journey into the treacherous, unpredictable landscape — territory controlled at various times by the Mujahideen, the Russians, and the Taliban — was one that McCurry would make numerous times. Many other photographers would follow in his footsteps, but none would return with such a flawless body of work.”

Get it here.

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