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April 20, 2011

Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington

We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of photographer Tim Hetherington today in Libya and all of us at BagNews are hoping and praying for the recovery of our good friend and contributor, Chris Hondros, severely injured in the same attack in Misurata.

Although Chris is one of the world’s most accomplished and experienced war photographers, he told me in February when I interviewed him that the chaos he witnessed in Cairo was among the most intense he had ever seen in one place. With the capture, abuse and then release of Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario in Libya, and now this, it’s clear an eminently dangerous profession now faces a completely new level of risk as despots and bad actors around the world become that much more desperate to suppress images, whether those pictures seep out via the social networks or traditional media.  Our BagNewsOriginals editor and contributor, Alan Chin, took this photo of Ron Haviv, Scout Tufankjian and Chris in Tahrir Square two months ago in what was obviously a lighter moment, flags proclaiming revolution waving in the distance. Alan and Chris have been close friends for the past twelve years and it’s a wonderful photo of Chris, portraying a little bit of that wry sense of humor, perhaps a hint of that healthy skepticism, too, but mostly capturing that informed, inquisitive, deeply intelligent, and always passionate, “look you in the eyes” nature of his.

Our prayers go out to you, Chris, and every finger is crossed.

UPDATE 4:22 pm PST: The NYT confirms the worst. These men will be terribly missed. Speaking of Chris, in particular (I didn’t know Tim), he would expect us to keep up the work, to keep shining the light, and we shall, using his great skill and dedication — an impressively high bar — as inspiration. Our deepest condolences to both families and to Chris’ fiancee.

(photo: Alan Chin)

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