As cruise missiles and air strikes rain down on Libya today, it is worth looking back at the legacy of previous American military bombing campaigns. Since the end of WWII, the U.S. has bombed at least 25 countries.
Of all of them, no country’s population was hit as hard as that of Laos. The entire war in Laos was carried out in secret, without congressional approval and far away from TV cameras. Only the CIA and the Laotian people knew what was happening between 1964 and 1973, when U.S. warplanes dropped over two million tons of bombs on the landlocked nation, which amounted to more than two tons per person, based on the population at that time.
As part of my project which is being supported by Emphas.is backers, I just spent several days photographing one of the most heavily bombed areas in human history. Four decades later, the bombs are still around. Munitions that didn’t explode on impact continue to detonate and claim lives of civilians in Laos today. Scraps of war junk have become fixtures in a grim landscape.
As I am traveling through Laos, I am sending out exclusive updates from the field to project supporters. If you would like to get involved in this project and receive the updates, the minimum contribution is $10. Books, prints and other rewards are available for larger contributions. Every bit helps, and I need your support to spread the news to others to make this project a success. The deadline for participation is April 5th.
Please visit the project page on Emphas.is to get involved:
(Once registered, you can access more images and the latest updates from Laos by clicking on the “Making Of Zone” tab.)