The international jury of the 51st annual World Press Photo Contest selected a color image of the UK photographer Tim Hetherington as World Press Photo of the Year 2007. The picture was taken 16 September 2007 and shows a US soldier resting at “Restrepo” bunker, named after a soldier from his platoon who was recently killed by insurgents.
The 2nd Battalion Airborne of the 503rd US infantry is undergoing a deployment in the Korengal Valley in the Eastern province of Afghanistan. The valley is infamous as the site of downing of a US helicopter and has seen some of the most intense fighting in the country. Hetherington’s photograph is part of a picture story that was also awarded 2nd Prize in General News Stories. He had traveled to Afghanistan on assignment for Vanity Fair.
“This image shows the exhaustion of a man – and the exhaustion of a nation,” says jury chairman Gary Knight, and adds “We’re all connected to this. It’s a picture of a man at the end of a line.” Fellow juror MaryAnne Golon commented: “I use all my energy to have people notice bad things. There’s a human quality to this picture. It says that conflict is the basis of this man’s life.”