Kandahar panoramic photographs by Louie Palu
During his long stint in Afghanistan, Louie Palu grew a grey beard to blend in among the locals and gain their respect. He dressed like a crazy old man carrying plastic bags, through which he’d snap some of his stunning panoramic shots of daily life in Kandahar City, where Canadian troops have operated since 2006. The Toronto-born, award-winning photojournalist has been there almost as long, capturing gritty visuals of a country at war. On the eve of Canada’s scheduled departure from Afghanistan in July, Mr. Palu has created an in-depth retrospective of the conflict, The Fighting Season, which opens at Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries May 7 and runs until May 31 (on display as part of the CONTACT Photography Festival).
Photo: Exhausted Canadian infantry from the Vandoos (R22R) Bravo Company sleeping in a civilian compound (home) occupied during the second of three days of fighting before continuing an operation to clear the area of insurgents in the Siah Choy area of Zhari District in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Zhari District (aka Zharey) located west of Kandahar City has long been an insurgent stronghold and the birthplace of the Taliban movement lead by Mullah Mohammad Omar in the 1990’s. Cpl. Christian Bobbitt (foreground 2nd from left) age 23 and Sapper Matthieu Allard (rear far right) age 21 were killed by an IED about a month after this operation.