Anniversaries like today are difficult, in part because they remind us how the people we mourn died, not how they lived.
To bring some good out of tragedy, the families and loved ones of Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, who died a year ago today in Misrata, Libya, asked that gifts in their memories be made to charities and funds that continue the work to which they gave so much of their energy and time. These memorials have already resulted in scholarships and other good works that continue their legacies and remind us of the commitment that inspired their careers.
After his death, the family of Tim Hetherington selected three charities that he supported:
Human Rights Watch, the independent organization dedicated to defending and protecting human rights; Hetherington was documenting the humanitarian crisis in Libya for Human Rights at the time of his death: hrw.org
Milton Margai School for the Blind in Sierra Leone, a school where Hetherington photographed and worked with students (and set up a pen-pal exchange) who had been intentionally blinded by the Revolutionary United Force: www.miltonmargaischool.org
Committee to Protect Journalists,the non-profit organization which since 1981 has promoted press freedom around the world by protecting and defending journalists from fear of reprisal: cpj.org
In addition, Hetherington’s parents, Judith and Alistair Hetherington, are now setting up a non-profit foundation in the UK and US “to help students, artists and those in need here and in the developing world, so that his commitment to highlighting the truth and humanitarianism will continue.” Information is available on timhetherington.org.
Hondros’s fiancée, Christine Piaia, and his friends and colleagues at Getty Images set up The Chris Hondros Fund to support aspiring photographers and raise public awareness about the contributions of photojournalists: www.chrishondrosfund.org.
The first of the Chris Hondros scholarships was given last fall at the Eddie Adams Workshop (which Hondros had attended) to photographer Enrico Fabian. At the same ceremony, the Tim Hetherington Memorial Award was given to photographer Dominic Bracco II.
The first Tim Hetherington Grant, administered by Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo, was awarded last year to Stephen Ferry to support his long-term documentary project on the effects of the guerilla war in Colombia.
In more recent news, the first session of the Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (RISC), a free first-aid course for journalists covering conflict, began in New York City this week. The program was started by Hetherington’s friend and frequent collaborator, writer Sebastian Junger. Supported with donations from ABC News, National Geographic, Vanity Fair, Condé Nast, Getty Images and the Chris Hondros Fund, RISC training programs will also be held in London and Beirut. (Information can be found at risctraining.org/)
The goal of the program is to train more journalists so that, if needed, they could help colleagues injured in the field.
Helping journalists help journalists: That seems like a fitting tribute as we remember two colleagues who gave so much to their community. Of course, we’ll still be thinking of them, and all who mourn for them, long after this one-year milestone has passed.
Hondros, Hetherington Prizes Awarded at Eddie Adams Workshop