Photographer Steve McCurry (1950) is best known for his iconic picture taken in 1984 of an Afghan girl, which was published on the cover of National Geographic the following year. He managed to enter Afghanistan just as it was being closed to Western journalists. The images that he smuggled out of the country showed the world the brutality of the Soviet invasion. In 2002 the girl with the green eyes was finally found and identified, and she reappeared on the cover of the April issue.
McCurry has traveled the world photographing not only ancient traditions and vanishing cultures, but also conflicts and contemporary culture. His photographs are distinguished by the human element that is always at the center of his work. In addition to his portraits of people in far-flung corners of the world, he has always had an eye for people buried in a book. His new book, On Reading, is a collection of photographs taken over four decades with which he shows the beauty and the universal power of the written word.
In 1986 McCurry became a member of the photographers’ cooperative Magnum. He has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Robert Capa Gold Medal, the National Press Photographers Award and an unprecedented four first prizes from World Press Photo.
Moderator: Tracy Metz
In collaboration with: Phaidon