The visit begins with a selection of previously unreleased black and white photos, taken by Steve McCurry between 1979 and 1980, during his first mission in Afghanistan when he entered covertly, guided by a group of Mujahidin who were fighting the Soviet invasion.
He returned there a number of times, which is where the famous young girl Sharbat Gula came from, whom he photographed in the Peshawar refugee camp in Pakistan when she was only 13 years old. That photo, published by National Geographic, has since become an icon of world photography but also a symbol of hope and peace. Alongside this legendary portrait is exhibited the photo that McCurry took of this same girl 17 years later, having finally found her again after a lengthy search.
Quite apart from the quality of the photographic material exhibited, the exhibition’s scenography, designed by Peter Bottazzi, is particularly innovatory. The visit is fully transparent, with the photos being presented against a backdrop of transparent material, which represents the presence of the world in the exhibition venue.
In addition, the scenography gives this presence a human touch which the visitor senses, drawing him into a vortex composed of the ages, cultures, and ethnic groups that McCurry was able to portray with extraordinary intensity.
An audioguide is offered to every visitor in which McCurry himself tells the story behind his photos along with anecdotes and stunning eye-witness accounts. The final section of the visit contains videos outlining his journeys, his life experience and his concept of photography.