The portraits were displayed beautifully in a very dark environment divided by black transparent panels, so that when you see one you also have a view on the others. Walking through the rooms is like making a journey of discovery of different culture, ages, ethnicities, condition.
More than the undeniable beauty of his pictures, this journey among humanity -progressively focusing in a universe full of women- is what impressed me the most.
I kept asking myself if I will ever look in the eyes such a variety of people, in real life I mean.
Photography makes so much possible, such as letting anyone know how the rest of the world looks like without even moving out of one's own room. To meet people, see things for real though is something else.
Mc Curry is not one of the photographers I have close to my heart, but his work gifted me of a strong emotion: it reminded me there is a humanity out there I must see, I must get in touch with. Some of it at least. The desire of travelling more to expand my world and knowledge is quite stronger now.
So... new old dreams of visiting Tibet, Indonesia and Peru (to name the top of my list) came back to me.
The arrival point, indeed, the famous Sharbat Gula portrait, unique icon of the photography in the world. Mc Curry took it in 1984 in a Afghan refugee camp and went back many years later to find her again and he actually did -not without difficulties. Very shy, usually wearing a burqa when in public, as seen in a filmed interview. Now her identity is known.
Her face showing sign of suffering and difficult life more than age, was impressive. She was 12 at the time of the first portrait, got married at the age of 13 and apparently knew nothing about the story of her photograph until 2002.
It was powerful and sad to loose myself for a while in her wonderful eyes as I did in many other eyes of the people portrayed in the exhibition. Happy to have seen it.
Looking forward to the next ones.