35 Years of Steve McCurry’s Adventures in India
When Steve McCurry went to India for the first time, he planned to spent six or seven weeks there, and ended up staying for two years. The photographs from that period started his career as a reporter who specializes on Asia. When the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, McCurry got in through the Pakistan border, with rolls of film sewn into his clothes. The photographs of that war, taken from the mujahideen side, were published in Time magazine in 1980 and got him the Robert Capa Gold Medal. In the Afghani refugee camp in Peshawar he took the portrait that National Geographic has acknowledged is ‘the most popular photo in the history of the magazine’. The photographer would find Sharbat Gula, the woman featured in it, again, after 17 years.
In 1986, McCurry became the member of Magnum Photos agency, but he kept working with National Geographic. He traveled all over Asia, captured the war between Iran and Iraq, the Lebanon war, the Cambodian war, Islamic partisans on the Philippines and the American invasion of Iraq, but India remained McCurry’s favorite location — he has been there more than 80 times.
The best photographs taken during the 35 years of his career are exhibited at a solo show Steve McCurry: India at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City and in the book with the same title.
With the author’s permission, Bird In Flight shares photographs from the book Steve McCurry: India, published by Phaidon.