Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Southern Photojournalist Chris Hondros Dies in Libya

Southern photojournalist Chris Hondros died on Wednesday, April 20th, 2011, as a result of injuries sustained in a rocket grenade attack in the besieged Libyan city of  Misurata, alongside two other photographers who were seriously injured.

Tim Hetherington, the director and producer of the film “Restrepo,” was with the photographers and was also killed in the attack.

The two other photographers -  Michael Brown of the Corbis Agency and Guy Martin of Panos Pictures -- were treated for shrapnel wounds, and were reported to be recovering.

Hondros, who was a photographer for Getty Images, suffered a severe brain injury and died at a medical center located near the front lines.

He was working at his craft until the end of his life, producing images of the conflict in Libya earlier on Wednesday, including the one above of Libyan insurgents planning their next move in their battle with the current Libyan government.

Hondros grew up in North Carolina and was an alumnus of NC State University in Raleigh. He had a long career working in some of the most dangerous places in the world, including Sierra Leone, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo, as well as Libya.

He won many awards, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal in 2005, and has received fellowships from the Pew Foundation and the USAID.

There is a tribute to Chris on the Gerry Images blog. A tribute to Chris is here, on the NY Times website. A portfolio of his work in Libya is also here, on the NY Times website. NC State University's News Service has a story here, with a slide show of a selection of Chris's work. A tribute from his friend Tucker Reed is here. A tribute from the Los Angeles Times is here.

A personal note -- I met Chris several years ago when he spoke to a class in photojournalism and documentary photography I taught with our University Photographer Roger Winstead. Chris held our students spellbound with his powerful images and his generous discussion of his working methods.

Chris had mastered the art of working effectively in the most dangerous and difficult of circumstances, yet he communicated a calm acceptance of the danger as a necessary part of practicing his craft. He believed deeply in the importance of his work, the need to document the conditions and experiences of war and to make local and immediate the humanity of those caught in the midst of war. 

The Gregg Museum of Art and Design at NC State University hosted a solo exhibition  of his work in 2005.  Images from that show will be on display in Chris' memory at the Gregg for the next several days.

No comments:

Post a Comment