Thursday, April 24, 2014

Testament, by Chris Hondros

Raleigh, NC-based photographer Chris Hondros died in combat while covering the Arab Spring uprising in Libya in April of 2011 for Getty Images.

I had the good fortune to meet Chris a couple of times when he spoke to the photography class that Roger Winstead and I taught for a number of years at NC State University. 

Rarely have I met someone so unfailingly gracious, thoughtful, and inspiring.

Chris saw his role as a photographer as that of a witness. He believed in the importance of his work as creating a window into worlds of violence and chaos.

He could talk with remarkable calm about his work, even though it was made in some of the most dangerous places and situations in the world. 

Chris' message to the students was about the value of what they were learning to do, of making images with courage and integrity, of engaging in the practice of photography out of deep respect and concern for his subjects, for their dignity as human beings. 

Chris never downplayed the danger or the personal risk, but made it clear that in his view his work was vital to him, and for us, if we were to understand the world around us, or the full range of human experience, or the kinds of things that were being done in our name in some parts of the world.

Now, the folks at Getty Images, together with the editors at PowerHouse Books, bring us Testament: Chris Hondros, a beautifully done book that brings together a generous sampling of Chris' images and a series of essays Chris wrote about his experience of making the work.

This volume represents a fitting and eloquent tribute to Chris the photographer and Chris the human being. 

Proceeds from the sale of Testament will go to to support the Chris Hondros Fund, an organization dedicated to the support and protection of photojournalists. 

Just this week, the Chris Hondros Fund made its first awards, to Daniel Berehulak a photojournalist based in New Delhi, India, who will receive a $20,000 prize to support his documentary work, and to Preston Gannaway, a US photographer, who has been named a finalist for the award, and will receive a $5,000 prize.

The awards will be given on May 7, at a benefit for the Chris Hondros Fund to be held at Aperture Gallery in New York.

The Fund, according to its administrators, “advances the work of photojournalists who espouse [Chris Hondros's] legacy and vision, and sponsors fellowships, grant making and education to raise understanding of the issues facing reporters in conflict zones.”

I highly recommend this volume to you, both for the quality of Chris' photography and for the worthiness of the goals your purchase will support. 

No comments:

Post a Comment