On Tim Hetherington’s Infidel

On Tim Hetherington’s Infidel

Obviously, I dig war stories.  I just do.  I dunno.  I’m kind of a sucker for heroism and bravery and toughness and what not.  Because I don’t do any of that personally, so it’s fascinating.  


Finally, I got my hands on Tim Hetherington’s Infidel, which is a photo book and companion to Sebastian Junger’s War (they also made the film Restrepo, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2010, about their time as embedded war correspondents in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan.)


While War is really well done and gives you background information on the men and events in the photographs, Infidel can stand alone.  It’s a beautiful book of photographs of men who defend a lonely, desolate and dangerous outpost, where life is ‘like a cross between a men’s social club and a prison – mixed with a dose of heavily armed camping.’


My favorite part of the book is the last sequence of photos of the soldiers asleep.  We’ve seen them in during firefights and rough-housing and looking at porn and playing cards and cleaning their weapons.  And then we see them vulnerable:  ‘You never see them like this,’ Hetherington says to Junger, who recounts this in the introduction to Infidel.  ‘They always look so tough, but when they’re asleep they look like little boys.  They look the way their mothers probably remember them.’


Tim Hetherington was killed in April of 2011 while covering the fighting in Misrata, Libya. He was hit by mortar fire and died before he could receive medical treatment.  His funeral was attended by several members of the 173rd Airborne, with whom he was embedded with Sebastian Junger.


For a good look at some of Hetherington’s brilliant photographs, go here.


To buy War, go here.  To buy Infidel, go here.   Both are excellent books worth owning and loaning out.

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