6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Exploring the horrible fascination of war,
This review is from: Here I Am: The story of Tim Hetherington, war photographer (Hardcover)
I read about this in the Sunday Times a few weeks back and immediately bought a copy online. It sheds light on the life of a complex, inspiring figure, in a moving and compelling way.
Here I Am tells the story of Tim Hetherington's professional life as a war photographer, glossing over his early years in a few leaps and bounds and focussing on the 1990s until 2011, and his time documenting conflict in Liberia, Afghanistan and, fatefully, Libya.
There's something about staring through a viewfinder that creates a distance but at the same time an intimacy, and this book does a wonderful job of exploring that boundary. Tim saw himself as a storyteller rather than a reporter, and that sense of his wanting to find a truth really shines through.
The book wrestles with pretty uncomfortable subject matter looking at the complexities of Tim's persona that make him - and many of his fellow photographers - inured to the dangers they place themselves in, daily testing the limits of fate, occasionally feeling almost invincible. I have a close friend who is a photographer and, though he's never done anything as extreme as Tim Hetherington, I've always been amazed by a certain fearlessness to his nature that this book goes some way to explain. That said, it also dispels the idea of war photographers as reckless thrill-seekers and shows that in Tim's case, there was a purposefulness to what he did and how he went about it, and a deep humanity too.
It also poses some pretty discomforting questions about our relationship - as readers and news junkies - to the subject matter that Tim and his fellow photographers risk their lives to bring to our attention.
For anyone interested in the mind of a photographer - and in reading an inspiring and ultimately tragic story - this is a must.