Photographer, Filmmaker Tim Hetherington Killed in Libya

BY Hari Sreenivasan  April 20, 2011 at 3:03 PM EDT

Tim Hetherington

Updated 6:18 p.m. ET

Award-winning photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington was one of two photographers killed Wednesday in an attack in Misrata, Libya, according to multiple news organizations.

“Tim died about two hours ago,” Peter N. Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch and a friend of Hetherington’s told Vanity Fair. “Three other journalist[s] were also hit [in an] R.P.G. attack, one being Getty photographer Chris Hondros; photographer Guy Martin, of the Panos Agency, who is in very serious condition; and a freelancer, Michael Brown, who is slightly wounded.”

It was announced later Wednesday that Hondros, a New York-based photographer for Getty Images, died from his wounds, according to Getty’s director of photography, Pancho Bernasconi.

Last year, Hetherington and journalist Sebastian Junger made the Afghanistan War documentary “Restrepo,” which won won the Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award.

Hetherington also made a book of photographs titled “Infidel,” which captured soldiers in northeastern Afghanistan in 2007-2008 serving battle, relaxing and sleeping in the Korengal Valley.

In November 2010, Jeffrey Brown talked with Hetherington about “Restrepo” and Infidel.”

“At that time, we went, and the war was focused on Iraq, but Afghanistan was — the war was getting out of control, something we now know to be true. And it was a really active place to be,” Hetherington told the NewsHour.

“Well, war is — it’s a very slippery thing to try and get out any truisms about war,” Hetherington said. “I mean, Tim O’Brien, the writer, you know, said the same thing. You know, war is hell, but it’s more than that. And rather than kind of lay down any kind of definitiveness, I just wanted to — to show the texture of it. And that meant not just photographing just the combat, but, as you say, the guys, their time off, when war is often very boring. And it’s boredom punctuated by sheer terror. And I wanted to capture all of that.”


Read the transcript here.

On Tuesday, Hetherington tweeted that there was “indiscriminant shelling by Qaddafi forces” and “No sign of NATO.”


In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

Hetherington described the role of war photographers in his NewsHour interview:

“I have always wanted to give a voice to my subjects. That’s really important for me. It’s their reality, and I’m mediating it for the public. And I understand that,” Hetherington said.

He also said: “I’m there as a witness. And I’m just trying to record what I can in the very kind of frenetic — frenetic environment. And I try and obviously, you know, keep myself out of the way and out of danger, but obviously you’re in a situation.”

Hetherington was born in Liverpool, England. He had been living in Brooklyn, New York, and held dual American and British citizenship. He was 40 years old.

 

Editor’s note: This story has been updated, and Hetherington’s age has been corrected.