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Steve McCurry in Santo Domingo: “Photography Is Not a Matter of Luck; It’s Training, Work and a Lot of Practice”

February 10, 2017

Organized by the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival, an overflowing auditorium welcomed one of the most iconic representatives of modern photography, for the first time in the country

Santo Domingo – Master of contemporary photography, Steve McCurry is raising great expectations and passions during his visit to the Dominican Republic. Yesterday, hundreds of people queued from the early hours of the afternoon outside Funglode headquarters to attend the workshop for professionals and the master class open to the public organized by the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival, a GFDD initiative. Before the academic activities, McCurry – accompanied by filmmaker Denis Delestrac – was received by GFDD/Funglode President Dr. Leonel Fernández.

Known worldwide for his work “The Afghan Girl”, among others, the artist of the lens is travelling these days across the country taking photos and participating in the filming of a movie by the director of documentaries Denis Delestrac. The filmmaker has visited the country previously on two occasions, invited by the DREFF, festival where 3 of his feature documentaries have screened so far. Delestrac is also part of DREFF International Advisory Committee.

Delestrac and McCurry, who have been friends for 17 years, talked on the stage of Funglode Auditorium about life, the human condition and the career of the photographer. Afterwards, McCurry answered questions from an enthusiastic audience and spoke about his beginnings as a photographer, about his most famous photo (“The Afghan girl”), about the social role of the photographer and professional success. “To sustain a career for 30, 40 or 50 years, this work must give you pleasure and happiness.”

He also said that a good photograph is not a matter of luck, or being in the right place and at the right time: “It’s training, work and lot of practice”.

The Funglode Auditorium was overflowing and part of the audience had to move to the second floor of the building, where the event was broadcasted live on screen.

About Steve McCurry
Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than thirty years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name. He is best known for his photograph “Afghan Girl” which originally appeared in National Geographic magazine.

Born in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; McCurry studied film at Pennsylvania State University, before going on to work for a local newspaper. After several years of freelance work, McCurry made his first of what would become many trips to India. Traveling with little more than a bag of clothes and another of film, he made his way across the subcontinent, exploring the country with his camera. His coverage on rebel-controlled areas of Afghanistan just before the Soviet invasion won the Robert Capa Gold Medal for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad, an award dedicated to photographers

exhibiting exceptional courage and Enterprise. McCurry continued to cover armed conflicts, including the Iran-Iraq War, Lebanon Civil War, the Cambodian Civil War, the Islamic insurgency in the Philippines, the Gulf War and the Afghan Civil War. He has been a member of Magnum Photos since 1986. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Magazine Photographer of the Year, awarded by the National Press Photographers Association. The same year, he won an unprecedented four first-place prizes in the World Press Photo contest. In 2014, McCurry was awarded The Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Medal.

Steve McCurry founded ImagineAsia in 2004. The mission of IA a 501-non-profit organization, is to work in partnership with local community leaders and regional NGO’s to help provide educational resources and opportunities to children and young adults in Afghanistan.

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