After last weeks class, I wanted to go back and read the article written by Sebastian Junger, Sebastian Junger Remembers Tim Hetherington. This is a daunting read as Junger writes out Hetherington’s last moments and thoughts he must have had. He starts out with, “you got hit by a piece of shrapnel and bled to death on the way to the clinic. You couldn’t have known this, but your fellow photographer Chris Hondros would die later that evening.” This is some intense writing. He is writing a public article as if he was talking to the spirit of Tim Hetherington. War photography like we have learned is a very dangerous profession, and it brings up the question of whether or not it is worth it.
Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
Junger went into this by because Hetherington did not just die in Misrata, Libya but died for all of the “Misrata’s of the world.” He did so much for many conflicts, bringing a voice to those who had not had one before, and showing the world the atrocities of war. He did a lot, and that is what made his death “worth it.” Junger ended the article with another chilling comment. “You had a specific vision for your work and your life, and that vision included your death.”
Tim Hetherington, soldier in Korengal valley, Afghanistan, 2008
I found that to be extremely dark. Hetherington apparently thought about death and considered it a part of his work. To consider it to be a part of his vision is not only morbid but also true. You have to appreciate what Hetherington, Hondros, and many others gave to our society. We need people who will risk their lives for the truth because unfortunately there are also many who will die to conceal it. This is something to keep in mind when considering war photography and the dangers behind it.