From US troops fighting the Taliban to Angolan amputees in football kit, this incredible archive of photos shows some of Tim Hetherington’s finest work.
Named world press photographer of the year four times and an Oscar nominee – for his war documentary Restrepo – he was one of the most respected members of his profession.
However, his relentless drive to document the impact of war would cost him his life. The 41-year-old Briton was killed alongside American journalist Chris Hondros in a mortar attack while covering the Arab Spring, in Libya in 2011.
Tim’s numerous awards include four World Press Photo awards, a Grand Jury Prize Sundance Film Festival (2010) and two Emmy awards for continuing coverage and editing (2011).
In 2010, he was also nominated for an Academy Award for Restrepo, a feature-length documentary which tells the story of the US 2nd Platoon of Battle Company in the 173rd Airborne Combat Team on its deployment in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008.
The title refers to the platoon outpost in Korengal Valley named after a popular soldier, Juan Restrepo, who was killed early in the fighting.
Now, to mark the seventh anniversary of his death, the Imperial War Museums – which has acquired his complete archive – has revealed some of his photographic treasures.
The collection comprises his seminal photography and video work from his embeds in Afghanistan (2007-2008), Liberia (2003-2006) and Libya (2011), reflecting his work as an intrepid conflict journalist but also as a humanitarian and an innovator.
US soldier Tad Donoho screams with pain after being given a ‘pink belly’ for his birthday in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan in 2008. The ritual sees junior-ranked soldiers hit in their stomach until it turns pink and starts to bruise. This is one of many evocative photos donated to the Imperial War Museum by the Tim Hetherington Trust
US troops coming under attack from Taliban forces man their observation post, named Restrepo. Photographer Tim Hetherington made an Oscar-nominated documentary in 2010 (called Restrepo) which chronicled the deployment of a platoon of American soldiers in Korengal Valley
Matren Ondraka from the Czech Republic trains new recruits of the LNP (Liberian National Police) in riot control as part of the United Nations Civilian Police restructuring plan in Monrovia, Liberia in May 2004
A Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) rebel fighter with a hand grenade in Tubmanburg, Liberia, 2003. The Second Liberian Civil War raged for four years, from 1999 to 2003, and involved child soldiers on all sides along with extensive civilian casualties. The conflict spread into neighbouring countries Guinea and Sierra Leone
A warblind patient awaiting surgery in Freetown, Sierra Leone in October 2000 . A large number of people lost their eyes during the civil war, either through gunshot, shrapnel or rebel torture
A medic treats specialist Gutierrez, injured during an attack by Taliban fighters on the Restrepo outpost in 2007. Forty-two American soldiers died there before the United States military pulled out of the area in April 2010
A veteran of the Angolan civil war with a prosthetic leg, and his teammates, prepare for a football match near Luanda, Angola in 2002
A soldier jokingly kisses his colleague during a play fight at the barracks of Second Platoon in Kunar Province, Afghanistan in June 2008
A thief is caught in a marketplace in Bushrod Island, Monrovia, in 2003. He was beaten before being handed over to UN forces
African men from Niger who had been working in Misurata, Libya, attempt to flee the besieged city via the port in April 2011
A member of the anti-aircraft brigade talks to his girlfriend during heavy fighting in Monrovia, Liberia in 2003
An army Black Hawk helicopter landing on the roof of a civilian house, north-eastern Afghanistan, to extract senior military personnel following a meeting – or ‘shura’ – with Afghan elders in 2007
LURD rebel forces using a pickup truck mounted with an anti-aircraft gun during their advance on the Liberian capital city Monrovia in 2003
Portrait of an anti-Gaddafi fighter in the desert of Eastern Libya in 2011
A US soldier is seen taking cover from the dust whipped up by a Chinook helicopter delivering supplies to Restrepo firebase
World Press Photo of the Year 2007, taken in the Korengal Valley in 2008 – showing a US solider resting in the Restrepo bunker. A jury chairman from the contest said it represented the ‘exhaustion of a man – and the exhaustion of a nation’
Conducting surveillance with a thermal imaging camera from the US main firebase in the Korengal Valley in 2007
World-class photographer and Oscar-nominated filmmaker: The life of Tim Hetherington
Named world press photographer of the year four times and an Oscar nominee, Tim Hetherington was one of the most respected members of his profession.
Raised in Southport, Merseyside, Tim Hetherington graduated from Oxford University in 1992 with a degree in Classics and English.
With a second degree in photojournalism from Cardiff University (1997), he worked initially for the UK press and soon branched into international coverage.
He worked and lived in Africa for many years – and spent a year studying American fighting forces in Afghanistan from 2007 to 2008. This led to his Oscar-nominated war documentary Restrepo, and ultimately his work in Libya.
Portrait of Tim Hetherington while embedded with US Airborne troops in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, 2007. The 41-year-old Briton died in a mortar attack in Libya in 2011