A Lens on the Afghan War

Finbarr O'Reilly

Since the 1850’s, photography has been a part of wartime media. Gripping conflicts suddenly became visualized, and the public’s accessibility to what was taking place in war zones increased with every technological innovation. Louie Palu and Finbarr O’Reilly, continue this longheld tradition with the release of their respective photography books, Front Towards Enemy and Shooting Ghosts, that capture the experience of the war in Afghanistan through various perspectives.

Award winning photographer Louie Palu was a 2011-2012 New America National Fellow. His accolades include a Guggenheim Fellowship and his works have been featured in the New York Times, BBC and Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. His latest book examines the five years he spent covering the war in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Front Towards Enemy attempts to highlight the chaos of war and how media influences public perception. 

Finnbar O’Reilly’s work is a memoir co-written with retired USMC Sgt. Thomas James Brennan, reflecting on the experiences of the war and the unlikely friendship they formed during this experience. O’Reilly is currently London-based, having spent 12 years in Central and West Africa as a photographer for Reuters, winning the 2006 World Press Photo of the Year, among many other awards. 

Join New America as we engage in a conversation with O’Reilly and Palu to discuss their latest works and the experience of wartime photography. 

This event will be livestreamed on this page. Follow the conversation online using #LensOnAfghanWar and following @NewAmerica


Louie Palu, @loupalu
New America National Fellow, Class of 2011-2012
Author, Front Towards Enemy 

Finbarr O'Reilly, @finbarroreilly
Author, Shooting Ghosts 


Awista Ayub
Deputy Director, Fellows Program
Author, Kabul Girls Soccer Club 

Copies of Front Towards Enemy and Shooting Ghosts will be available for purchase by credit card or check.