I met Linda Covello when I worked at Newsweek and she was shooting for cover stories about American kids. She is first and foremost a portrait photographer with a great connection to people and their environment. Linda is also a serious film buff, and after talking to her about Restrepo, the award-winning film from photographer Tim Hetherington and writer Sebastian Junger, I asked her to write about her feelings.
'Restrepo' and the Imagery of War
With the premier nearing of his documentary, “Restrepo,” Tim Hetherington takes time to talk with Michael Kamber about the future of photojournalism.
The documentary “Restrepo,” directed by Mr. Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, will open Friday. Last week, Mr. Hetherington sat down with Mr. Kamber in Midtown Manhattan to talk about the film — and much else besides. Their remarks have been edited for brevity and clarity.
The winning press photos by Hetherington and Guttenfelder on the one hand and McQueen’s art work on the other can be seen as two poles defining the spectrum of possible representations of war with a camera – one employs the rhetoric of reportage, the other uses a conceptual strategy, or the rhetoric of the metaphorical. Arguably, the photojournalist has a professional and ethical imperative to capture the immediate circumstances, while the artist has the license or luxury to turn his camera away from these events, even to question the photograph’s ability to accurately represent them. Does one approach function more effectively than another? And by what criteria can we judge their effectiveness? When it comes to images of the events and consequences of war, how close is too close? And how much distance is too much?
Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington’s visceral documentary about the war in Afghanistan, Restrepo, just won the Grand Jury Prize: Documentary.
"Restrepo," a film made by photographer Tim Hetherington and writer Sebastian Junger about a platoon of US soldiers in Afghanistan, was shown on the opening night of Sundance Film Festival on Thursday.
Tim Hetherington began his seminar, “The Documentary Hybrid: Photography & Filmmaking,” this afternoon with a statement he admitted was a little bit strange given the setting: “I’m not interested in photography, I don’t really care for it,” he said.
Showcase: The Walls Speak – Lens Blog – NYTimes.com:
In 2000, a U.N. combat unit entered a deserted village near Shegbwema in eastern Sierra Leone — territory then held by the Revolutionary United Front, a rebel group infamous for its use of child soldiers and widespread amputations. The abandoned buildings were covered with cryptic and deranged drawings. Here and there were sentences, names, questions and statements — all of which made no sense to me at that time. Empty of life, the village was an eerie and suffocating place, and the drawings hinted at a deeper psychosis.
Is the current style of photojournalism stale? Does the current trend for commenting on the aesthetics of photojournalism detract from the stories that photographers want to communicate? What can photojournalists learn from the art world?
Comments from Gary Knight, Tim Hetherington, MaryAnne Golon, and Ashley Gilbertson.
Filmed on 22 May 2009 at VII Gallery, Brooklyn
Stephen Mayes introduces the discussion topics, including the motive and the intent of photographers who cover war, and the responsibility of the audience viewing the resulting images to learn, react, and engage. Tim Hetherington and Gary Knight continue by debating the crisis in photojournalism — is there one, and if so, what is it?
Lens Blog – NYTimes.com says:
Tim Hetherington is a British photographer, writer, filmmaker and television journalist who has captured the chaos and tragedy of the Liberian civil war in his new book, “Long Story Bit by Bit: Liberia Retold” (Umbrage Editions, 2009). He has combined reflective, square-format documentary photography with oral testimony and memoir.
It may be the best photojournalism project we can’t show you: A powerful three-screen audio-visual presentation about the war in Afghanistan. The difficulty is that it requires a theater rigged with three projectors. So far, Tim Hetherington’s “Sleeping Soldiers” triptych has only been screened in one place, the 2009 New York Photo Festival.
Tim Hetherington first went to Liberia in 1999, and he’s been working there on and off since then. He has a new book that tells the history of Liberia in pictures, oral testimony, and memoir, and it’s a powerful tale of chaos and power. The title, appropriately, is “Long Story Bit By Bit.”
The child soldiers of Liberia have taken street art to another level. Tim Hetherington, winner of the World Press Photo of the Year in 2007, took these terrifying photos during the blood-drenched civil war over there a few years back. The childlike scrawls of rape, violence and intimidation are pretty grim, but it all gets out of hand when you see the cupboard with “room of pain” etched on it. We spoke to Tim about Liberia, child soldiers and the 90s Liberian graf scene.
In the past year, contributing editor Sebastian Junger and contributing photographer Tim Hetherington, winner of the 2007 World Press Photo of the Year award, returned to Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley to embed with Battle Company
British photographer Tim Hetherington talks about his photograph of a US soldier in Afghanistan which has won the 2007 World Press Photo Award.
The picture shows an American soldier in a bunker in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley during fierce fighting with the Taleban.
Check it out here.