Friday, May 27, 2011

10 People's Lives in Photographs

Famous for its lists, Listverse has published its lineup of the ten most famous life stories as told in photographs. You can see the rest here.

From the site regarding this iconic image::
"I know most would be expecting this photo to show up on this list. It is the most recognized photograph in the history of National Geographic. Because of this photograph this girl’s story seems amazing, but it’s probably not that unusual during that time. After a Soviet strike that killed Sharbat Gula’s parents, she was forced to hike over the mountains to the Nasir Bagh refugee camp, in neighboring Pakistan, with her siblings and grandmother. It was there that photographer Steve McCurry took the, now famous, photo. Her face became a symbol of the 1980s Afghan conflict, and of the refugee situation worldwide. When the photo first appeared in the magazine, her name was unknown and the photo was just titled “Afghan Girl”. For over 17 years, the Afghan Girl’s name and identity remained a mystery, until McCurry and a National Geographic team traveled to Afghanistan in 2002, to locate her. After many false claims, they finally found her after meeting her brother, who had similar green eyes, in one of the countries remote regions. She was now a woman around 30 years old, and a married mother of three girls. When McCurry was given permission to meet with her again, he told her that her image had become famous. Sharbat was not particularly interested in her personal fame, but she was pleased when he told her she had also come to be a symbol of the dignity and resilience of her people. When her brother was asked what his sister’s life is like, he said this: She rises before sunrise and prays. She fetches water from the stream. She cooks, cleans, does laundry. She cares for her children; they are the center of her life. Robina is 13, Zahida is three, Alia, the baby, is one. A fourth daughter died in infancy. Sharbat has never known a happy day, except perhaps the day of her marriage. Shabat had never seen her famous portrait before it was shown to her, then. She also agreed to have her picture taken for the second time in her life. You can see the picture here."

National Geographic: The Photographs (National Geographic Collectors Series)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is lovely. :) Of course I know the picture. Besides, I am a fan of National Geographic and i bought the millennial issue of most famous pictures over the years. But this picture is so special because you can see it in her eyes, can't you. Sad. Thanks for shwring, didn't realize she had taken another picture, or maybe I just haven't seen it before.