2007 - 2010
These photographs were taken in Kandahar, Afghanistan during the rise of the Taliban lead insurgency and the U.S. military surge focused on Kandahar. In the summer, the heavily vegetated landscapes in Kandahar become the front line where some of the most violent and bitter fighting takes place during what many in Afghanistan call “The Fighting Season”. I specifically focused on taking photographs of the conflict in Kandahar, which was the birthplace of the country, the Taliban and planning of 9/11. As the insurgency grew I spent most of my time in the districts west of Kandahar City. Kandahar has been the scene of numerous battles over centuries with little visual documentation until this post 9/11 war.
I spent time with Afghan, U.S. and Canadian troops and also focused on medics who collected casualties. I worked to create a sequence of images that examine what the front line of an insurgency looks like in this war, at this particular time. I was also very interested in the ever presence of nature and combatants interaction with the environment as part of the experience of war. Some of the first visuals of war I saw were paintings from the First World War including work by Frederick Varley and Paul Nash.
I wanted to use color and light in a manner for what I hoped would turn into a contemporary photographic interpretation of war, which for me became a disturbing and terrible beauty. My ultimate goal was to create a body of work which was not only a document but a universal portrait of war.