Louie Palu

December 6, 2012 - December 30, 2012

Afghan soldier warming his henna stained hands on the front lines, Zhari District, Kandahar, Afghanistan.
2007
Pigment print
24 X 30"

Image © Louie Palu

Medevac helicopter on mission over Zhari District, Kandahar, Afghanistan.
2010
Pigment print
24 X 30"

Image © Louie Palu

Dust and smoke on helicopter landing zone, enemy possible, Zhari District, Kandahar, Afghanistan.
2010
Pigment print
24 X 30"

Image © Louie Palu

Standing in dust from improvised explosive device blast, Nakhonay, Panjwa�i District, Kandahar, Afghanistan.
2010
Pigment print
20 x 24"

Image © Louie Palu

Afghan police officer preparing to patrol a village, Panjwa�i District, Kandahar, Afghanistan.
2010
Pigment print
20 x 24"

Image © Louie Palu

Medic and fatally shot civilian killed in crossfire, Zhari District, Kandahar, Afghanistan.
2009
Pigment print
20 x 24"

Image © Louie Palu

Three brothers wounded by an insurgent's bomb, Zhari District, Kandahar, Afghanistan.
2010
Pigment print
20 x 24"

Image © Louie Palu

Front line trauma room after bombing, Zhari District, Kandahar Afghanistan.
2007
Pigment print
20 X 24"

Image © Louie Palu

A wounded soldier in a medevac helicopter after a night raid, Zhari District, Kandahar, Afghanistan.
2010
Pigment print
20 X 24"

Image © Louie Palu

Two wounded soldiers from Arghandab District, Kandahar, Afghanistan.
2010
Pigment print
30 x 24"

Image © Louie Palu

Eating grapes in Pashmul during a patrol in Zhari District, Kandahar, Afghanistan.
2008
Pigment print
20 x 24"

Image © Louie Palu

U.S. Marine Lcpl. Damon "Commie" Connell age 20, Garmsir District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
2008
Pigment print
24 x 20"

Image © Louie Palu

U.S. Marine Lcpl. Theodore Dykstra age 23, Garmsir District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
2008
Pigment print
24 x 20"

Image © Louie Palu

U.S. Marine Gysgt. Carlos "OJ" Orjuela age 31, Garmsir District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
2008
Pigment print
24 x 20"

Image © Louie Palu

U.S. Marine Cpl. Philip Pepper age 22 , Garmsir District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
2008
Pigment print
24 x 20"

Image © Louie Palu

U.S. Lcpl. Marine Joshua Wycka age 21, Garmsir District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
2008
Pigment print
24 x 20"

Image © Louie Palu

Photographer Louie Palu's diary from Kandahar, Afghanistan.
2010
Pigment print
8 x 10"

Image © Louie Palu

Louie Palu

The Fighting Season

“Everywhere I looked when I got to Kandahar, there was a picture. And I knew I had to be there, I had to take photographs there. That it was a very important story.” – Louie Palu

From 2006 to 2010, Louie Palu photographed the conflict extensively in and around Kandahar, Afghanistan. His interest in going stemmed from the realization that the Canadian Military, his country’s military, would be fighting for the first time since the Korean War. Over the course of five years, Palu spent many days in the midst of combat with soldiers from the Canadian Army, as well as the British Army, US Army and Marines, the Afghan National Army, and the Afghan National Police.

Garmsir Marines is a series of portraits made when Palu turned his camera away from the conflict and on to the faces of the young men living in what he considered the worst troop conditions he had seen during his five years of covering the war. They were taken in the final month of the unit’s operation in Afghanistan. Palu spent a great deal of time getting to know them individually, joining them on patrol as they fought with insurgencies, and later photographing them in an empty bunker.

For Blue Sky’s installation, Palu positioned the soldier portraits across from photographs recording various moments of warfare. As viewers, we can ‘stand’ with the soldiers and witness the same atrocities, we see what they see during wartime. In addition, Palu included copies of his journal pages, offering first-hand recordings of his daily experiences on the front lines. “Most of the entries in these diaries were written at times when I was at my emotional, psychological and physical limit of what I was experiencing in the war. There were many times when I was no longer able to write what I thought.”

Louie Palu is an award-winning photojournalist whose work has appeared in numerous publications, festivals, and exhibitions internationally. He has been featured in publications such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, and The Economist. He has received several awards, including the Hearst Biennial Award, the Aftermath Project Award, and the Bernard L. Schwartz Fellowship with the New American Foundation. His work is in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and George Eastman House International Museum of Film and Photography. Palu’s Cage Call was shown at Blue Sky in 2006.