Nearly two years ago, Tim Hetherington was killed by mortar shells in Libya while he was photographing the civil war there. Hetherington, who is known for his work in West Africa and with U.S. Army soldiers in Korengal Valley, in Afghanistan, worked in both still and moving images, and, as Whitney Johnson wrote in her 2010 post, explored “the boundaries… between photojournalism and conceptual work.”
This week, Yossi Milo Gallery presents “Inner Light: Portraits of the Blind,” an exhibition of the black-and-white photographs Hetherington took between 1999 and 2003 at the Milton Margai School for the Blind in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where he was fondly known as Uncle Tim. About the conflict in Sierra Leone, Hetherington said, “As a result of the civil war, many people were left with serious medical conditions. As well as the more common abuses of amputation, the fighters of the Revolutionary Front (R.U.F.) also terrorized people blind by cutting their eyes out. Others lost their eyes to shrapnel or as a result of being caught up in combat. Many simply lost their eyesight because they did not have access to a doctor and therefore a simple medical condition developed went untreated.”
The Yossi Milo show opens on April 11th, and the HBO documentary “Which Way Is The Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington,” directed by Hetherington’s friend and filmmaking partner Sebastian Junger, premières on April 10th.