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A Mad Dash - 16 months in Helmand

by Bill Putnam

About the Series-
For 16 months, Bill Putnam traveled around Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand province for NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, documenting what he called “a mad dash.”  He brought his Leica M6, a few lenses, and lots of black-and-white film to document his time there.
The fight against the Taliban in Helmand was largely a stalemate those 16 months. The outposts and large bases that defined the west’s presence were closing down. Troops were rotating home without replacements. The fighting was being done more and more by the Afghans, with western support.  This exhibition is a window into a violent and beautiful place that was - and still is - undergoing tremendous change.

About the Artist-  
Bill Putnam is a photojournalist, currently studying at American University's School of Communication, majoring in broadcast journalism. Lately, his work has concentrated on the mental, physical and political cost of war through documentary photography, portraiture and video. Before becoming a freelance photojournalist, he served 11 years in the US Army deploying to Kosovo, the Pentagon, and finally Baghdad. During those deployments, he covered and helped plan media coverage of operations ranging from humanitarian events to combat missions.