The photographer talks about career, community

ByDavid M. Conte

Nov 28, 2021

Faq

Distinguished Speakers Series:

Steve mccurry

WHEN – 7:00 p.m. December 2

O – Crystal Bridges Museum, 600 Museum Way in Bentonville

COT – $ 15 ($ 12 / member)

INFORMATION – 418-5700; crystalbridges.org

FYI – Learn more about Canopy NWA’s mission or how to support the organization at canopenwa.org.

Faq

Distinguished Speakers Series:

Steve mccurry

WHEN – 7:00 p.m. December 2

O – Crystal Bridges Museum, 600 Museum Way in Bentonville

COT – $ 15 ($ 12 / member)

INFORMATION – 418-5700; crystalbridges.org

FYI – Learn more about Canopy NWA’s mission or how to support the organization at canopenwa.org.

Faq

Distinguished Speakers Series:

Steve mccurry

WHEN – 7:00 p.m. December 2

O – Crystal Bridges Museum, 600 Museum Way in Bentonville

COT – $ 15 ($ 12 / member)

INFORMATION – 418-5700; crystalbridges.org

FYI – Learn more about Canopy NWA’s mission or how to support the organization at canopenwa.org.

“My work has generally been about people – the way people live, the human condition,” begins American photojournalist Steve McCurry.

Part of the documentation of the human condition involved covering conflict zones around the world, which led McCurry to Pakistan in 1984. It was there that he captured what is arguably the most famous image. of her career. “Afghan Girl,” the portrait of the 12-year-old girl with piercing green eyes that covered the June 1985 issue of National Geographic, became emblematic of the refugee crisis that displaced millions of people and lasted decades afterward. the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Last week, November 23, the country spent its 100th day under majority Taliban rule since the militant group and political movement regained control after the withdrawal of US troops this summer. In addition to the political and economic consequences of the seizure of power, the extreme Deobandian fundamentalist ideology of the Taliban has renewed global awareness of the region’s humanitarian concerns and sparked a new wave of refugees fleeing the country, in addition to the millions already. displaced in neighboring countries as well as within Afghanistan’s borders.

“At this critical moment when Afghanistan is making a comeback, I will talk about it. I will talk about the displaced people, whether they are from Syria or Yemen or Afghanistan or Iraq. But the other part will also be my career and what I have done and celebrating culture and diversity, the commonality of humanity, ”said McCurry of his December 2 visit to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

McCurry is the latest guest in the museum’s 2021 Distinguished Speakers Series. Crystal Bridges has partnered with refugee resettlement agency Canopy NWA to bring McCurry to Bentonville, as well as to bring attention to the organization’s efforts taking place right here in Northwest Arkansas. .

“The way the world is now, everything has shrunk. The world is a much smaller place. By plane you can go from Kabul, [Afghanistan] to Little Rock, Arkansas, in probably three flights; you could probably do it in a day, ”McCurry says to illustrate his rejection of the idea that even a place like Northwest Arkansas may seem too far from a humanitarian crisis in the Middle East to pay attention. .

“The world is so interconnected in every way possible that I think we have to try to help other people help the planet. I think you can’t say, “Well, global warming doesn’t really care or affect me,” or, “I’m just a tiny little person and it doesn’t really affect me. . ” Well, if everyone has that attitude, you might as well give it up now.

“And I would say,” McCurry continues, “isn’t that the Christian message, to help people in need? I know the answer to that question. But I guess if you really consider yourself a Christian or a Muslim? , or a Buddhist, over and over again is the right thing to do.

The conversation will be moderated by Khalid Ahmadzai of Canopy NWA and will also look back on McCurry’s impressive body of work, which spans more than four decades.

“We hope to let guests understand how art can raise awareness of social issues, spark dialogue and facilitate change,” reveals Moira Anderson, associate director of public programs for Crystal Bridges. In addition to the conference, we also plan to partner with Canopy NWA to present a series of gallery conferences focusing on art and social issues, portraiture and representation, which will extend our dialogue on the topics covered in the conference.”

“I think you shoot, you write a poem, you write a book, you compose a song – I think you do it because you have that kind of creative urge. You do it because you kind of have to. do, then you let the chips drop where they can, “recalls McCurry.” I mean someone could absolutely say, ‘Well, [“Afghan Girl”] is the only image people know of you. And I would say, ‘Well then? What do you want me to say? ‘”He laughs before adding:

“But I think, and I know, that people who took inspiration from it, people volunteered to go and work in the refugee camps. So I think that’s the real benefit of the image – the made this young girl full of dignity, courage and perseverance, keeping her head high, despite being poor, refugee and orphan, that she was able to persevere. “

Seeing the events and the horrors, McCurry experienced first hand – the middle of a civil war, passing through a refugee camp of 100,000 people, the “epic catastrophe” of the Gulf War, unimaginable poverty – we sometimes have feel like witnessing the dark side of humanity, he admits. But as someone who aims to create work that “communicates and tells stories and shines a light on life on the planet,” McCurry has found a great place at the intersection of art, compassion, love. education and documentation of the narrative of history, and he made his career there.

“So that the photograph can say: ‘That was how we were at one time’, I think that’s really informed [my approach]. It’s so fascinating to watch [at] how people have managed to live their lives. Maybe you can read it in a book, but I think looking at a photo and reading it in a book are two different things. So I think photography really adds to our human history. “

LEGEND: Sharbat Gula, Afghan girl. Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984. MAX PRINT SIZE: 40 x 60 & # x27; Sharbat Gula, at Nasir Bagh Refugee Camp near Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984 – Untold (p. 81) National Geographic Magazine, Vol. 167, No. 6, June 1985, along the war-torn border in Afghanistan. “ The Afghan girl with green eyes became at the end of the 20th century a symbol of strength in the face of difficulties. Her ragged dress and dirt-stained face aroused compassion around the world; and her beauty was unforgettable. The bright, intense green of her eyes encouraged a bridge between her world and the West. And probably more than any other image, hers served as an international emblem during difficult times and a troubled nation. – Phaidon 55 The iconic image does not stand out of time. Rather, it connects with the moment in a deeply profound way. As the images are imbued with meaning, a meaning that resonates deeply with a large and diverse audience. McCurry’s photograph of the Afghan girl is one such image. For many, this beautiful girl in a tattered dress has become the global symbol of a nation in collapse. Haunted Eyes tell of the fears of an Afghan refugee. – Bannon, Antoine. (2005). Steve McCurry. New York: Phaidon Press Inc., 12. NYC5958, NN11480593, MCS1985002 K035 Afghan Girl: Found National Geographic, April 2002 Phaidon, Iconic Images, latest book_iconic, page 33. National Geographic Magazine, Along Afghanistan’s War-torn Frontier, June 1985, flight. 167, n ° 6 Fille afghane, Pakistan, 1984 (Looking East, p. 28) South Southeast_Book In the Shadow of Mountains_Book Steve Mccurry_Book Looking East_Book Iconic_Book Untold_book PORTRAITS_APP final print_MACRO final print_Sao Paulo final print_Milan final print_Birmingham Fine Art Print final print_HERMITAGE print final print_AnkaraurrichAGE , Michener, Utica Graphic Novel_Book Retouched_ Eli Durst, Sonny Fabbri 03/30/2015


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