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Tim Hetherington Killed in Libya
April 20, 2011 3:22 PM   Subscribe

British photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington was killed by artillery fire in Libya today. He was 41 years old.

Hetherington, who covered conflicts in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, won critical acclaim with his 2010 documentary Restrepo. The movie, co-directed with fellow war correspondent Sebastian Junger, follows a U.S. Army unit stationed in a remote part of the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan. It received the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Hetherington had been covering the siege of the Libyan city of Misrata when a mortar round landed nearby, killing him and seriously wounding at least one other journalist.
posted by Rangeboy (72 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I just finished watching his last posted video on Vimeo, called simply Diary.
It's a beautiful, very moving piece of work.
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posted by Flashman at 3:27 PM on April 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Here's his "Diary" where he tries to paint a portrait of his life abroad while in war zones.

Here's his last update to Twitter, posted yesterday. Kind of chilling.

Here's to a brave man who risked it all so we can see what's going on. Rest in peace.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:31 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


His last tweet:
In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.
posted by livejamie at 3:32 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by chunking express at 3:33 PM on April 20, 2011


Just read this, thought of Moustapha Akkad

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posted by clavdivs at 3:35 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by bz at 3:36 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by spinifex23 at 3:39 PM on April 20, 2011


Looks like Chris Hondros, award winning photog did not survive his injuries as well.
posted by Jaymzifer at 3:39 PM on April 20, 2011


What a huge loss. It brings home how many unknown people's talent and intelligence is being snuffed out in this conflict.

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posted by bearwife at 3:41 PM on April 20, 2011


...Absolutely nothing.
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 3:42 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


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Chris Hondros, another injured journalist, has also died.

I'll refrain from commenting on the Libya mission and just say that Restrepo is a revealing (and not very encouraging) glimpse into the Afghanistan war.
posted by mediareport at 3:42 PM on April 20, 2011


Link for some of Chris's photos taken today.
posted by Jaymzifer at 3:42 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by beagle at 3:46 PM on April 20, 2011


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Restrepo was valuable. Checking out his Vimeo channel now.
posted by flippant at 3:48 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by lord_wolf at 3:50 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by defenestration at 3:51 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by reductiondesign at 3:53 PM on April 20, 2011


"so now as i'm leaving i'm weary as hell the confusion i'm feeling ain't no tongue can tell the words fill my head and fall to the floor if god's on our side he'll stop the next war"...bob dylan
posted by kitchenrat at 3:54 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by rtha at 3:56 PM on April 20, 2011


He was the same age as me. As you get older, you start to think more about the meaning of your work, have I done something that made a fitting impact on the world, was I important? I don't think I would call it sweet and becoming to die doing something you are passionate about, but this does frame Heatherington's work sharply. May we all find a personal calling for which we feel compelled to put our lives on the line, and may few of us ever be called on to actually give over those lives.

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posted by Slarty Bartfast at 3:57 PM on April 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:02 PM on April 20, 2011


The White House issued a brief statement on his passing.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:07 PM on April 20, 2011


I saw Page One, the film about the New York Times, and in it there are a few scenes where people question Media Desk writer David Carr about the Grey Lady's coverage of war and disaster. He nearly bites their head off. His response seems a bit extreme, but it's worth remembering that he has seen reporters like these risk life and limb to tell the world stories that would not otherwise get told, and so he is, perhaps understandably, a bit hot-headed about the subject. You can't be a journalist at a big paper for very long without one of your coworkers dying or nearly dying on their job.

I have nothing but respect for the job. Most Americans go into war zones with guns, or with the red cross of being a medico, which is supposed to protect them under the Geneva Code. (I understand that it offers scant protection.) These men and women go int combat with nothing more than a laptop computer or a camera.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:12 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by motty at 4:14 PM on April 20, 2011


Oh wow, this is a big loss. Such a waste.
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posted by nevercalm at 4:14 PM on April 20, 2011


this is so terrible, it really just cranks my impotent rage at Gadhafi to the redline. I cannot imagine the guts and dedication it must take to go into such places over and over again because YOU WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW. and 41 is just far too young to die. I find myself very eager for Mummar to get taken down, soon.
posted by supermedusa at 4:32 PM on April 20, 2011


Wow. Such a brave, talented, journalist and an unusually perceptive artist. Such a loss for the world.
posted by clockzero at 4:34 PM on April 20, 2011


...Absolutely nothing.
posted by panaceanot at 4:45 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by tommasz at 4:48 PM on April 20, 2011


Restrepo is fantastic. I had the privilege of hearing Hetherington speak after the film screened at last year's SF International Film Festival and his accounts of what he and Junger went through while filming were sobering. He told the story of how he broke his leg during the big firefight/operation featured in the film and made it back to base along with the rest of the unit. He had to hike for hours in the dark carrying his gear in the middle of the night while under fire and not slow everyone else down. The guy was unassuming and soft spoken but man was he hardcore.

It's some small consolation that he died doing a job which he was obviously committed to and which he did very well.

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posted by ooga_booga at 4:51 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by dbiedny at 5:07 PM on April 20, 2011


There's a real need for photographers who have good ethical practice - it's so sad to lose them.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:18 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by Splunge at 5:19 PM on April 20, 2011


We see war through the eyes of photographers; it is so shocking when one of those lights goes out because part of us dies with him. A brave and driven creative person like that. His loss is our loss. All of us who must, absolutely must, seek the truth and ultimate waste of conflict.


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posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 5:28 PM on April 20, 2011


nyt
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:31 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by photoslob at 5:52 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by fillsthepews at 5:54 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by goshling at 5:59 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by scody at 6:02 PM on April 20, 2011


For those who just know Hetherington from "Restrepo", it's good to note that he also worked on "The Devil Came on Horseback" and photographed Liberian LURD rebels for "Liberia: An Uncivil War" (which earned him an execution order from Charles Taylor), and also did amazing photojournalism work in places like Guinea, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, and more.

Tim was a guy I respected greatly; his work was both dangerous and very important and he put himself at immense risk to bring us more of the real story during armed conflicts around the world.

When people ask where the last vanguards of real journalism, I would point to guys like Tim. This has been one of the harder losses for me to take in quite some time...
posted by rollbiz at 6:06 PM on April 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


It was Chris Hondros who took this picture.
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posted by Flashman at 6:32 PM on April 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


Devastating. He had a tremendous sensibility. I have no sufficient words to convey my respect for what he did, my awe at his talent and devotion, or my sadness at his being killed.
posted by penduluum at 6:41 PM on April 20, 2011


A terrible loss.
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posted by estherbester at 7:02 PM on April 20, 2011


It was Chris Hondros who took this picture.

That is just an awful, awful picture. My god I just want to hug someone.
posted by cashman at 7:06 PM on April 20, 2011


Such a sad day. I never met Hetherington or Hondros, but people I know who were their friends say they were some of the best in the business. Guy Martin, Michael Christopher Brown, and Andre Liohn were also in the attack, and all seem to have a good chance of surviving. It was surreal watching this news unfold on facebook, starting with Andre's initial facebook post from the hospital where everyone is being treated, especially as it seemed like Chris was going to pull through. Here are some remembrances and memorials from those who knew them or worked with them, in no particular order:

2 Great photographers lost today in Libya – doing what they loved to do.

The Toll Of Covering Conflict

The News We Dont Want to Report

Photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros killed in Libya [Updated]

Recent photos from Misrata by Chris Hondros, including some taken before his death and another gallery of images from the day of his death

Parting Glance: Tim Hetherington

Tim Hetherington 1970 – 2011

Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros Killed in Libya (some good discussion on what was so special about Hetherington's work)

CPJ's report

IN MEMORIAM: TIM HETHERINGTON

A TRIBUTE TO TIM HETHERINGTON 1970-2011

Human Rights Watch on Tim Hetherington

BagNews on Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington

Remembering Tim Hetherington

BJP's coverage, including a photo of Hondros as he was receiving medical attention after the attack (and here's a bit of discussion, including from the BJP writer, about the decision to publish that picture)

Probably many more that I should include here, and many that have already been linked above.

Head's sort of spinning at the moment.
posted by msbrauer at 7:11 PM on April 20, 2011 [14 favorites]


Another remembrance about Chris Hondros.
posted by msbrauer at 7:12 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and one more link. Here's CPJ's up-to-date account of attacks on journalists in Libya. While no conflict is easy to cover, Libya's been particularly bad for journalists.
posted by msbrauer at 7:27 PM on April 20, 2011


Fantastic comment, msbrauer. I just wanted to thank you for it.
posted by rollbiz at 7:33 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by Ahab at 7:37 PM on April 20, 2011


Turns out Chris Hondros was a local.

He graduated from the same high school as my children.

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posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:23 PM on April 20, 2011


It was Chris Hondros who took this picture

Oh my dear lord. Just...shit. My son who turned 2 today means everything in the world to me.

Fuck. How could people...just...

Fuck.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:04 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by DreamerFi at 9:41 PM on April 20, 2011


41, same age as me. old enough to have had a full life, young enough to have lots more life to live, wise enough to know just how much more you could do with it.

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posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:59 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by Lynsey at 10:44 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by willhopkins at 11:16 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by bwg at 12:03 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by likeso at 12:45 AM on April 21, 2011


Remembering Tim Hetherington
posted by homunculus at 1:34 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by dealing away at 1:49 AM on April 21, 2011


I loved Restrepo. I discovered his work when he won the world press award for this picture.
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posted by SageLeVoid at 2:10 AM on April 21, 2011


Mefi previously on Restrepo.
posted by rory at 5:20 AM on April 21, 2011


Chris was a friend of friends. They worked, studied, traveled and just hung out with him. They worried for him, often. His pictures speak for themselves and of his talent, beautifully. His friends speak of him, his generosity and magnetic personality just as eloquently and beautifully. This is a loss for us all.
posted by Shike at 6:29 AM on April 21, 2011


Here's a story by Hondros about trying to figure out the name of the Liberian commander in one of his most well-known pictures. Hondros helped him go to school.
posted by msbrauer at 8:28 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 10:34 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by yaymukund at 10:49 AM on April 21, 2011


Chris Hondros, damn. That photo of the little girl covered with her parents' blood is probably the most powerful image of the Iraq War in my memory.

What a loss.

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posted by longdaysjourney at 10:57 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by HandfulOfDust at 11:53 AM on April 21, 2011


John Kerry's remembrance of Chris Hondros.

Also, NPR had a clip on today's show of Chris Hondros talking about taking that unforgettable picture.
posted by bearwife at 1:16 PM on April 21, 2011


http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/04/photojournalist_chris_hondros.html
posted by mulligan at 9:33 PM on April 21, 2011


Hondros' obituary is in today's paper. His funeral is at the local Greek Orthodox church and he's being buried here in Fayetteville.

Seems like such a quiet, quiet ending for such a life as his.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:02 PM on April 27, 2011


The Inner Lives of Wartime Photographers
posted by homunculus at 9:23 AM on May 7, 2011


It was Chris Hondros who took this picture.

Iraqi Child in War Photo Tries to Move On: Photographs of Samar Hassan at 5 years old illuminated the horror of civilian casualties in Iraq. Six hard years later, she looks back.
posted by homunculus at 9:26 AM on May 7, 2011


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