A Photo Is Worth: Celebrating our global icons

https://readthespirit.com/ourvalues/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2013/03/wpid-0726_Sharbat_Gula_the_Afghan_girl_on_a_rock.jpgImage courtesy Wikimedia Commons.Dr. Wayne Baker welcomes guest columnist Rodney Curtis, who usually writes at Spiritual Wanderer.
Here is Rodney’s 4th OurValues column, this week …

This week, pictures are telling the OurValues stories and I hope you’ll use the Comment area below to tell us about photos that have shaped your life. Today, I wanted you to see this photo, at right.

Photo 4:
Afghan Girl

I have never met, hugged or gotten a postcard from Steve McCurry. (But, if you’re ever Googling yourself, Steve, I’m happy to accept a high five.)

You’ve all seen his photographs and maybe don’t know who took them. I have so many favorites, whether it’s the guys fishing while standing on stilts in the ocean, the women covering up during a sandstorm or the simply incredible smile on the man recovering his old sewing machine from monsoon rains.

However, nothing can compete with McCurry’s iconic Afghan Girl. In fact, the photo at right illustrates what an instantly recognizable icon his girl has become. It’s a chalk version someone sketched on a rock face—but I’ll bet you recognized the photo instantly.

McCurry first photographed Sharbat Gula in 1984 and it became a world-wide classic. When he went back to find her in 2002, the story got even better. I’m a sucker for “where are they now” narratives. Seeing what became of one of the most unknown famous people in the world was phenomenal.

I think after writing this, I’m going to go purchase one of his poster prints. That’s saying something; for a family of photographers to put another shooter’s work on their walls is the most extreme form of flattery. The most difficult part, though, will be deciding which one to buy.


What global icon is your favorite?


Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an experiment in civil dialogue about American values.

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