In 1979, Steve McCurry went to Northern Pakistan after traveling in India for just over a year. While he was there, he came across a group of Afghan refugees who informed him of a civil war raging right over the mountain range and invited to take him in and show him this war. At the time, the Afghan army was burning and destroying villages all over this particular part of Afghanistan. Since then, McCurry has returned to Afghanistan and spent his time photographing the lives of the people who live in this turbulent land. Pictured here, Breakfast Tea being passed between cars on the railway between Peshawar and Lahore in Pakistan in 1983.

My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport

Steve McCurry
© Steve McCurry | Magnum Photos

Steve McCurry was born in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; McCurry studied film at Pennsylvania State University, before going on to work for a local newspaper.

After several years of freelance work, McCurry made his first of what would become many trips to India. Since then, McCurry has gone on to create evocative images in over six continents and countless countries, with scores of magazine and book covers, as well as solo global exhibitions.

His image of a young Afghan refugee with piercing eyes – the June 1985 National Geographic cover – has become one of the most distinctive in photographic history. McCurry has been a contributor to Magnum since 1986.

© Steve McCurry | Magnum Photos

Get Magnum news and updates directly to your inbox