War and Peace in Liberia
Oct 26, 2018 | 6 - 9pm
Oct 26, 2018 - Jan 13, 2019
Opening reception with remarks by Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General.
Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros’ powerful photographs played an important role in moving the world to action and ultimately bringing the Liberian Civil Wars (1999-2003) to an end.
Trapped with Liberian dictator Charles Taylor’s forces in besieged Monrovia in the summer of 2003, Chris braved artillery and rocket fire to send frontline pictures of women and children being killed by the hundreds. His photos ran on front pages around the world and provoked outrage at a brutal war whose victims were almost entirely non-combatants.
Tim Hetherington, embedded with the LURD rebels in the same period, provided the documentation of the rebels shelling civilians. Even the ruthless Charles Taylor considered him a threat and sent assassination squads to kill the British photojournalist. Tim barely escaped, only to return and live in Liberia following the conflict. His haunting book, Long Story Bit by Bit: Liberia Retold, has become a standard text of the Liberian Wars.
Liberia. Monrovia. June 25th, 2003. A member of the AA (Anti-Aircraft) brigade exchanges a brief tender word with his girlfriend during a heavy fighting in the capital Monrovia. © Tim Hetherington/Magnum Photos
Liberia. 2004. War graffiti left during the various parts of the Liberian civil war. © Tim Hetherington/Magnum Photos
Together, these two photographers alerted the world to Liberia’s humanitarian disaster and helped to build the international momentum which resulted in the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping mission that brought the war to a close, helped set the stage for democratic elections and created a lasting success story for the West African nation and the subregion. The UN closed its Liberia mission last year--the last of three successful operations in the Mano River basin—leaving being a country still fragile but with a fighting chance for peace and development.
July 20, 2003: Joseph Duo, a Liberian militia commander loyal to the government, exults after firing a rocket-propelled grenade at
rebel forces at a key strategic bridge in Monrovia. © Chris Hondros/Getty Images
The photos in this exhibition, some never before shown, are a tribute to these journalists, and to the Liberian civilians who protested so powerfully and demanded an end to the violence.
In 2011, Tim and Chris, friends and colleagues committed to documenting the truth, were killed by artillery in Misurata, Libya.
War and Peace in Liberia was produced in collaboration with: Magnum Photos, Getty Images, The United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, The United Nations Foundation, and Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (RISC)
The exhibition was curated by Michael Kamber and Cynthia Rivera.
War and Peace in Liberia is made possible by The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the New York State Legislature, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council, the Donnelley Foundation, Con Edison, and Ghetto Film School.
War and Peace in Liberia Exhibition Catalog
This catalog, created in conjunction with the exhibition, was designed by Bonnie Briant and Bobbie Richardson and funded by the Chris Hondros Fund.
Purchase the catalog here.
MAIN PHOTO: © Chris Hondros / Getty Images