Hondros and Hetherington: Photographing the Liberian Civil War

By Finbarr O’Reilly |

Liberians fleeing the sound of fighting near Monrovia’s Stockton Bridge in July 2003.CreditCreditChris Hondros/Getty Images

A show at the Bronx Documentary Center reveals how Liberia’s civil war shaped the lives and careers of Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington.

The American photographer Chris Hondros was running for cover on a day of heavy shelling during the height of Liberia’s civil war on July 21, 2003, when he came across the body of Lasana Harding, a schoolboy killed only moments earlier. The boy, dressed in blue trousers and a white shirt, lay face down in the dirt bleeding from a head wound, the handle of a torn plastic shopping bag still looped through his fingers.

Mortars killed 60 people that day, but Mr. Hondros paused in the midst of the bombardment to take a picture, one of his many images documenting the human cost of Liberia’s second civil war. He also found the boy’s photo ID from class 7B at St. Mary Catholic School, putting a name and a face to one of the thousand or so people killed during a two-month siege of the capital Monrovia, most of them civilians.

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About Cholo Brooks 11563 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.