Today marks a rather sad anniversary; the loss of two incredible conflict photojournalists, Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros. Both were sadly killed in an attack while covering the civil unrest in Libya in 2011. We are taking this opportunity to honor them for their sacrifice and appreciate the work they both did over their careers.
Tim Hetherington -whom you may know from his work on the 2010 documentary film Restrepo- was recently featured in an HBO Documentary “Which Way Is the Front Line From Here?”, which chronicles his work across global battlefields. As a photographer he has received recognition and praise throughout his career, including winning the World Press Photo competition in 2007 and the Grand Jury Prize for Restrepo at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
Chris Hondros was also a well recognized photographer and had received numerous awards throughout the 2000s, including being a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 (no small feat!) Additionally, a Non-Profit organization has been set up in his name (Chris Hondros Fund) to help support photojournalists and raise awareness on the dangers conflict-photographers face every-day.
Looking back to April 2011 in Misrata, Libya a massive attack launched a by Gaddafi’s forces against the rebels holed-up in the city claimed the lives of numerous soldiers and unfortunately both Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros as well. Both Hetherington and Hondros were well known in the combat journalism circles for bringing a powerfully honest perspective to the way people view global conflict.
The reality of the incredible danger that photojournalists who cover active combat zones face is often overlooked by the consumers of the media they produce. When you really think about it, ask yourself this; “Would I be willing to give my life for my work?” This is is a reality of their chosen career-path. Both Hetherington and Hondros were actively covering the civil war taking place in Libya in 2011; while coming under heavy fire from Gaddafi’s forces, countless mortar rounds were launched into the city bringing colossal devastation and massive casualties.
It was during this attack that (while on the front lines) Tim Hetherington took shrapnel to the leg, severing his femoral artery and Chris Hondros took shrapnel to his head. As you can imagine, these injuries would prove to be fatal for both of them. I encourage you to visit the galleries posted online containing the rest of their final images from that fateful day in April. (Tim Hetherington / Chris Hondros)
As we mourn the loss of Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros on this terrible anniversary, we can also remember them by the work they produced and the passion they brought to their craft, they both wanted to tell the truth in their images, show the consequences of war from a personal perspective and I respect that immensely. You will both be missed.
All images are ©Tim Hetherington & Chris Hondros respective estates
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