Tony Northrup decided chose to make a video celebrating photographer Steve McCurry’s most renowned photograph, the famous “Afghan Girl” portrait highlighted on the front of National Geographic. In any case, after looking into the shot, Northrup took in the other, more disturbing side of the story that’s more hidden from public view.
In the interview that Sharbat Gula (the “Afghan Girl”) has appeared throughout the years, Northrup discovered that she was certifiably not an eager subject in the picture McCurry shot when she was around 10 to 12 years of age. As a Pashtun, she should be in indistinguishable room from a man outside her family, look, demonstrate her face, have her photograph taken, or (particularly) have her photographs exposed.
Through his translator at the refugee camp in Pakistan, McCurry asked Gula’s teacher to tell the girl to remove her covering and show her face. After the photo was shot, Gula, who says she was scared, ran away immediately.
In publishing the photo on its cover, National Geographic stated in the issue that the girl’s eyes were “reflecting the fear of a war.”
“Not true,” Northrup says. “Her eyes were reflecting the fear of an unfamiliar man. The fear of her own limits being ruptured and her convictions being stomped on. She didn’t have anything else to fear that day aside from Steve McCurry. She had been living in that camp for a long time. She was in school.”
And while McCurry would go on to become internationally celebrated as the photographer behind the portrait, Gula’s life has been marked with extreme hardship and suffering. In addition to losing her husband and one of her children, Gula was arrested in Pakistan in 2016 for using a fake ID card and living in the country illegally. She was then deported by Pakistan to Afghanistan, which celebrated her return.
Via : PetaPixel