The 'Afghan Girl' - Sharbat Gula - Steve McCurry

I was reacquainting myself with the masters and came across the sublime work of Steve McCurry who captured this iconic shot of the 'Afghan Girl' around this time in 1984. I still have the original National Geographic magazine from June 1985 that my father gifted to me.

There are no words to express the mixture of haunting fear and uncertainty that this image still conveys through the subject matter's eyes. Steve McCurry had a massive influence on my work as a photographer because it was the first time that I was exposed to the wonderful diversity and ethnic groups that the region affords. It resonates with me personally as my family originate from Peshawar City (my grandfather was the first 'Lord Commander' of Peshawar when it partitioned from India in 1947 and worked with Pakistan's founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah.) I felt a real sense of pride when I realised that it was in Peshawar that this image was forever entombed, and also a sense of wonderment for the field of photography self. How could such a craft forever etch an image as beautiful and haunting as this into the global conscience? From that moment on, my heart was sold. 

 

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