© Steve McCurry

On Reading – Steve McCurry

I’m so excited about an upcoming exhibition in the Amerikahaus – it combines two of my favourite things – photography and reading. Steve McCurry’s On Reading launches tonight, starts officially on Monday and will run until November 30.

A “visual storyteller” (he told TIME recently that he’s not a photojournalist, responding to accusations that he retouched many of his photos), McCurry is known for his striking photos of people – and he’s travelled the world over snapping memorable portraits. He’s most famous for the image that appeared on a 1984 National Geographic cover (it became National Geographic’s most popular cover) – which became known simply as Afghan Girl. In it, a green eyed Afghan refugee in Pakistan wears a loose terracotta headscarf and stares intensely at the camera. It’s been compared to the Mona Lisa, and metal band Nightwish even recorded a song about the girl – poised yet vulnerable.

McCurry’s something of a cynosure in the photography world. Kodak asked him to shoot the last roll of Kodachrome ever produced, and he’s been awarded the Robert Capa Gold Medal. He’s one of the most important names in contemporary photography.

Steve McCurry Amerikahaus
© Steve McCurry

The exhibition in the Amerikahaus is a celebration of reading across the world. The photographs demonstrate that reading is for everyone – for young and old, for the religious and the atheists, for rich and poor.

The vernissage is tonight from 7pm – entrance is free, but be sure to head to the Amerikahaus’ temporary location – Barerstr. 19 (U-Bahn Königsplatz/tram 27 to Karolinenplatz). The Amerikahaus is currently undergoing renovations.

If you fancy catching the man in person, he’ll be presenting his new book On Reading at the Literaturhaus on October 28. Tickets cost 7 €.

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