Tim Hetherington was a photojournalist and Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker who was killed, along with his equally acclaimed colleague Chris Hondros, on Wednesday, 20 April, as they worked to cover a group of rebels opposed to the Gadhafi regime in Misrata, Libya.
In January 2009, Hetherington talked with his colleague James Brabazon at the Frontline Club in London about their work in West Africa. The discussion is a seminar on how interconnected politics are among former colonies artificially constructed as separate nations. Listen especially at about 1.11, when Hetherington talks about the problem of Western reporters dropping in to grab topical stories without grasping the historical and cultural context.
Many are dying in Libya and elsewhere because of the international crime of aggressive war, and most of those who die will not be memorialized in the international media, including the blogosphere. It still matters to recognize the value of every individual life. Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros knew better than most how many human beings are being slaughtered and ignored as if nameless, as if they didn't matter, and they worked precisely to reinscribe that truth: we all matter. All honour to them.
And on Chris Hondros, from the Editor and Publisher article:
It was Chris Hondros, a photographer for Getty Images, who took the photos of the Tal Afar checkpoint shooting while embedded with a unit of the 25th Infantry Division. He encountered some anger from the military last January after Getty chose not to agree to the military's request to delay sending them out. "They never asked me to censor," Hondros emphasizes, "they asked me to delay." But delay can sometimes mean the photos arrive too late to ever be used.
Though he had not violated any ground rules, he chose to leave the next day. "Even if I had not sent those photos, I would have left that embed," he says. "The incident had been a high stress one, and it didn't start me out on a good footing with these particular soldiers. It's impossible to be operating under hostility in an embedded situation."
His photographs of the blood-spattered, traumatized children were widely distributed to U.S. papers -- but few ran more than a single photo. By contrast, Hondros says, those photographs "seemingly dominated the discourse in Europe, where they were run in full over multiple pages by many important papers there."
Via @rj_gallagher on Twitter