"Nonstop imagery is our surround, but when it comes to remembering, the photograph has the deeper bite....
In an era of information overload, the photograph..is like a quotation, or a maxim or proverb."
(Susan Sontag: Regarding the Pain of Others 2003)

11 April, 2008

Images of Afghanistan: Seamus Murphy & Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry (b.1950) is an American photographer, perhaps best known for the portrait of a young Afghani refugee girl which appeared on the cover of National Geographic Magazine in June 1985. This 2002 image shows Sharbat Gula, now in full burka, carrying her own image from 17 years earlier, after the photographer finally succeeded in tracking down his original subject.
Seamus Murphy is a younger Irish photographer, who has a rather different approach to McCurry's. His new book 'Darkness Visible' is the extraordinary product of a dozen years of travel to Afghanistan, during which he achieved a remarkable level of intimacy with his subjects, ably conveying something of the patent resilience of its peoples. I wasn't able to find a truly representative single image of Murphy's Afghanistan work but I do urge you to click on the link below and to take - at the very least - a look at the last half dozen images in the series.