Afghanistan through the lens of Steve McCurry

April 12, 2010

Afghanistan through the lens of Steve McCurry

Gatineau, Quebec, April 1st, 2010 — The Canadian Museum of Civilization invites you to meet professional photographer Steve McCurry and share his incredible journey into the heart of Afghanistan. This presentation is a special supplement to our exhibition AFGHANISTAN: Hidden Treasures, presented until April 25, 2010.

Author of the famous picture "Afghan Girl", McCurry will discuss his experience as a photojournalist. Having walked on the Afghan soil repeatedly during the last 30 years, he will allow you to discover this country through disturbing portraits and breathtaking landscapes. This presentation will be followed by a signing session.

Steve McCurry – Lens on Afghanistan
Meet the photojournalist and admire his work
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Theatre and Marius-Barbeau Lobby
5 p.m. Tour of the exhibition AFGHANISTAN: Hidden Treasures
7 p.m. Lecture
$20, members $15
English with simultaneous French translation

Born in Philadelphia, Steve McCurry has had his work featured in every major magazine in the world and frequently appears in National Geographic. Recognized universally as one of today’s finest image-makers, McCurry is best known for his evocative colour photography.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Magazine Photographer of the Year, awarded by the National Press Photographers Association. The same year, he won an unprecedented four first prizes in the World Press Photo contest.

Steve McCurry has published several books, including Steve McCurry (2005) and Looking East (2006).

Afghan Girl  

Sharbat Gula is an Afghan woman of Pashtun ethnicity. She was photographed by Steve McCurry at the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in Pakistan, in 1984.

Although her name was not known, her picture, titled "Afghan Girl", appeared on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic. The image of her face, with a red scarf draped loosely over her head and piercing sea-green eyes staring directly into the camera, became a symbol both of the 1980s Afghan conflict and of the refugee situation worldwide.

A high point in Steve McCurry’s career was the rediscovery of the previously unidentified Afghan refugee girl that many have described as the most recognizable photograph in the world today.  When he located Sharbat Gula after almost two decades, he said, “Her skin is weathered; there are wrinkles now, but she is a striking as she was all those years ago.” 

More information is available at or by calling 819 776-7000 or 1 800 555-5621.

Media Information

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Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: 819 776-7167

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Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: 819 776-7169

Fax: 819 776-7187