Afghan Girl

Quick Facts

TitleAfghan Girl
MediumKodachrome 64 colour-slide film
CameraNikon FM2
LensNikkor 105mm Ai-S f/2.5 lens
PhotographerSteve McCurry
SubjectSharbat Gula
LocationNear Peshawar, Pakistan
ContextAfghan refugee during the Soviet–Afghan War
First PublicationJune 1985 cover of National Geographic
Initial IdentificationRemained unknown until early 2002
Province of OriginNangarhar Province, Afghanistan
Age at Time of Photograph12 years old
Refugee CampNasir Bagh, Pakistan
Cultural ImpactDescribed as the “First World’s Third World Mona Lisa”
SymbolismEmblematic of the “refugee girl/woman” deserving Western compassion; symbol of Afghanistan to the West
RecognitionCalled the ‘world’s most famous photograph’ by CNN
Cover DescriptionImage of Gula with a red scarf, staring directly into the camera
Significance in National GeographicNamed “the most recognized photograph” in the magazine’s history
Commentary on ImageAmerican Photo magazine noted its “unusual combination of grittiness and glamour”
Notable FeatureGula’s green eyes
Pre-print RetouchingDone by Graphic Art Service, Marietta, Georgia

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