Beset for decades with tribal rivalries colonial wars, and geo-political conflict The Afghans have always called their mountains “the land of rebellion.” Yet born of such chaos, such entrenched conflict, are these most breathtaking and beautiful of images. The American photographer Steve McCurry has traveled to Afghanistan regularly for more than 40 years and is one of the most accomplished photographers to work in the region. On his first assignment in Afghanistan in 1979 he dressed Afghan robes in order to be smuggled across the border from Pakistan, and has always been subjected to the same dangers that are an inevitable part of life “on the road” for photographers, regularly heading behind the lines, usually at great risk.
That journey, into the treacherous, unpredictable landscape—territory controlled at various times by the Mujahideen, the Russians, and the Taliban—was one that McCurry would make many times. He founded ImagineAsia in 2004, with the mission to help provide educational resources and opportunities to children and young adults in Afghanistan. These images are part of a book published by TASCHEN and available now.