April 26, 2011

Sleeping soldiers

Last week Tim Hetherington was killed in Libya. Hetherington was a British photographer who lived in New York. With Sebastian Junger, he made “Restrepo,” the Oscar-nominated documentary about American soldiers at a remote, harrowed post in Afghanistan.

It’s a huge loss, to journalism and to all of us. I thought “Restrepo” was deeply impressive but you don’t need to watch it to get a sense of the artistry of Tim Hetherington.

As I write this, his web site is still up. If you have just a little time, go there and look at some of his still photos. I think my favorites are the ones of sleeping soldiers. We’re all used to images of soldiers in action. To see them asleep, in these photos, is to see them disarmed, as people. (To view these, click on any of the row of dots that is second from the bottom.)

Here are two posts from New York Magazine about Hetherington’s death, and the wake held at Junger’s bar.