The Fighting Season: Louie Palu

Sol Mednick Gallery

"The Fighting Season" refers to a well-known time of year in Afghanistan when the warm, late-spring weather provides conditions and resources ideal for fighting Afghan-style guerilla war through autumn. Canadian photographer Louie Palu photographed the conflict in Afghanistan over a five period, based in Kandahar with short trips to Kabul, Farah, Helmand, Zabul, Uruzgan, Khost, Kabul and Nimroz provinces.

This exhibition features prints and excerpts from his personal diaries, drawn from three bodies of work, "The Fighting Season," "Cost of War" and "Garmsir Marines," each one a separate but related study of Kandahar and Helmand provinces in southern Afghanistan between 2006 and 2010. Palu writes, "I worked embedded with military units and independently. I focused my work on three of the most violent districts in the country west of Afghanistan’s most strategic city of Kandahar. This region is home to where Mullah Omar gave birth to the Taliban."

Palu graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, Canada in 1991, followed by studies at the Allied Independent Colleges of Art in New York City. His many accolades include a National Magazine Award, Hearst Photography Biennial, Photojournalist of the Year, Hasselblad Master Award, Alexia Foundation Documentary Photography Grant and Aftermath Project Grant.

Palu's work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, The Atlantic, Paris Match,, The Globe and Mail and Sunday Times Magazine. His work is in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the George Eastman House International Museum of Film and Photography, and has been exhibited in the Baltimore Museum of Art.

He would like to acknowledge the Alexia Foundation for supporting a significant portion of the fieldwork in Kandahar with funding via their annual documentary photography grant. Palu is a Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow with the New America Foundation.

Lecture: Wednesday, September 12, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Reception: Wednesday, September 12, 4 - 6 p.m.

Above: Afghan soldier warming his henna-stained hands on the front lines, Zhari District, Kandahar, Afghanistan, 2007; Digital Pigment Print, 24 X 30 inches.

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