I watched a quite interesting documentary last night – Search For The Afghan Girl – about the search a photographer made to find an Afghan girl he once took a now very famous photograph of. The film documents how he came across the then 10 or 11 year old in a refugee camp school in Pakistan in 1985, taking her photo (with her permission) before parting, with her apparently becoming lost to the ravages of a war-torn country. The photographer, Steve McCurry, then spent the next 17 years wondering what became of her, and after a series of failed attempts in the intervening years to find her in Pakistan, made one last attempt in 2002 to do so. National Geographic went along to document his search and reveal the outcome.
It is well worth watching, and the original National Geographic magazine article that the image accompanied puts it into some context, as well as the story after the story. It serves to highlight the power that a single photograph can have (it moved many people to aid in the relief work in some of the refugee camps), and has been described as National Geographic’s most well known cover photo (June 1985), as well as being one of the most enduring photographs ever taken. Very high praise indeed!