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Seamus Murphy


Photographer Seamus Murphy (born 1959) grew up in Ireland and lives in London. For over two decades, he has photographed extensively in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America. He has won seven World Press Photo Awards. His photography from Afghanistan, which he began in 1994, chronicles the tumultuous life of the Afghan people and won him the World Understanding Award (POYi) This work has been published as a book, A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan (Saqi Books, 2008) and has been exhibited internationally.

Seeing this book and exhibition prompted musician P.J. Harvey to approach Murphy to make a series of films to accompany her album, Let England Shake.

Above all, his subject is the human being. The late photographer Philip Jones Griffiths, author of Vietnam Inc. described Murphy as “a poet with a camera”.

“Photography” says Murphy, “is part history, part magic”.

He aims to explore further the shared language of photography and filmmaking.

A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan by Seamus Murphy

Based on 14 trips to Afghanistan between 1994 and 2010, A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan is the work of photojournalist Seamus Murphy. His work chronicles a people caught time and again in political turmoil, struggling to find their way.