EVEN people who are not photography (or journalism) insiders would probably recognise the works of US photographer Steve McCurry, especially the one that welcomes them on the second floor of his Bratislava exhibition: the face of a young girl from a Pakistani refugee camp that was famously featured on the front page of the National Geographic, has become the essence or the fate and grief of thousands.

Other McCurry’s works from the South-Southeast exhibition in the Central-European House of Photography (SEDF) illustrate his numerous, prolific travels that garnered him several awards, including the Gold Medal of Robert Capa, National Press Photographers Award and World Press Photo awards.

The countries change – from Afghanistan, Pakistan or India, through Myanmar, Tibet, China, Sri Lanka, Philippines, to Italy and the United States. Objects change as well: from temples, like a simple Kyoto shrine or the picturesque Blue Mosque in Mazar-e-Sharif; through animals, like camels in a Kuwaiti oil field or an elephant in Thai jungle; to people, from various monks, nuns through children involved in Middle-East conflicts or struggling for survival in Pakistan or India.

The photos are big, in colour, and show a fine balance between impartial observer and empathic participant. The selection of pictures will even be allegedly modified throughout its duration. The author himself will visit Slovakia in person in November, during the Month of Photography.

The South-Southeast exhibition can be seen in the SEDF in Prepoštská 4 in Bratislava on Tuesday to Sunday between 13:00-18:00 through August 31. Admission is €2. More information can be found at sedf.sk/en.