End of the road…
Equipped with a surplus U.S. Army ambulance he had converted into a darkroom and sleeping quarters and emblazoned with National Geographic Photo-Survey Vehicle in English, Hindi and Urdu, Volkmar K. Wentzel traveled the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent at a pivotal time in its history: its independence from Britain.
Volkmar K. Wentzel / National Geographic/Taschen
An all-too-common sight on the streets of Bombay, a destitute woman and child make a squalid living by begging. Fully half of the booming city’s 13 million people were living on the streets or in tin-and-cardboard shacks. Perhaps 600,000 of them were crammed into a one-square-mile slum called Dharavi — the biggest slum in Asia. The city is now called Mumbai.
Steve McCurry / /
Bodies lay strewn around a vat containing a beverage laced with cyanide at the Jonestown commune of the People’s Temple in Guyana. This mass suicide is known as the Jonestown Massacre of 1978.
A shepherd leading his charges down a busy Rue Georges Picot epitomizes the contrasts often encountered in mid-20th-century Beirut: He wears Arab garb but also a Western-style jacket. Part Muslim and part Christian; part East and part West, Lebanon’s capital was the Paris of the Middle East, as famous for its glittering cafes as for its banks, bazaars and trading houses.
Thomas J. Abercrombie / National Geographic/Taschen
Sri Lanka, 1995
Perched on wooden stilts, Singhalese men fish for spotted herring in the monsoon-lashed surf pounding Sri Lanka’s south coast. When the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami crashed over these same beaches, it took the lives of 35,000 Singhalese with it.
Steve McCurry / National Geographic/Taschen