Easter Island by Steve McCurry
Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as it’s known to natives, is an enchanting and enigmatic destination. A tiny speck of green in a vast sea of blue, its nearest inhabited neighbor is Pitcairn Island (pop. 50) over 2,000 km away, while the Chilean mainland is more than 3,500 km away. So to say that it is remote seems something of an understatement. Photographer Steve McCurry traveled deeper to Easter Island with Silversea, with the hope of seeing the mythic moai—iconic monolithic statues—and witnessing first-hand the authentic beauty of the distant destination.
Steve’s visit started, of course, with a visit to those famous effigies. Over 1,000 of the mega-monoliths are dotted around the island, mostly on the coasts. Dating from 1100 AD, their history is still slightly hazy (why were they built? how were they transported? who do they represent?), but, as iconic statues go, it doesn’t get much better than these. The world-famous photographer got straight to work, taking mesmerizing images of the humbling landmarks. In fact, so enchanted was he with the moais that he scaled a fence to get a golden-hued sunrise shot!
Next came the Tapati Rapa Nui Festival. This grandiose event is the annual celebration of Polynesian culture, and involves a fusion of color and tradition that involves absolutely everyone. From head clansmen to hotel porters, the island is divided into two halves, with Tapati queen candidates presiding over each team. The men of each team take part in a series of events that includes body painting, a triathlon and horse racing. The winning team then crown their “Queen of the Island” for the following year, amid great celebrations and festivities.
A superb example of respecting ancestral culture and keeping it alive in the 21st century, the two-week festival was a life changing event for the lauded photographer, resulting in many superb captures.
Capturing the Authentic Beauty of the World
Steve McCurry needs no introduction. He is most probably the greatest living photographer today. His iconic “Afghan Girl” image has captured the hearts and minds of thousands – the eloquence of her haunted expression, telling the world of her fate through her vivid green eyes – is simply stupendous.
So, when considering our new direction, Steve was a natural choice for us. He is a born storyteller with the soul of an explorer. His unique ability to capture what is left of the authentic beauty and truth in the world and express it with clarity and emotion is just brilliant. A McCurry image not only takes you on a journey, it inspires you to travel the world.
To learn more about the partnership between Steve McCurry and Silversea visit: www.steveandsilversea.com
Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than 30 years. His work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike – yet always retains the human element that made his celebrated image of the Afghan Girl such a powerful image.
McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, the National Press Photographers Award, and four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest.