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Testament Hardcover – April 8, 2014
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"Hondros' photos stood out for his ability to capture moments of clarity in tense, difficult situations. Not just dangerous situations, with bullets and mortars and shrapnel flying all around, but emotional ones."
"Ultimately, Chris's voice became the inspiration, subtext and force behindd 'Testament.'"
-New York Times, Lens
"Testament, the new collection of images and writings by late photojournalist Chris Hondros, is a labor of love by many people who were close to him."
-Photo District News
"A fearless photojournalist who covered conflict across the globe, Hondros made images that he believed could change the worls, a claim that's hard to argue when faced with his intense and piercing images."
-TIME Magazine's LightBox
"Chris Hondros, one of the most accomplished war photographers of his generation, was fatally wounded three years ago while in Libya. A new book, “Testament,” showcases Hondros’ finest work from some of the world’s most dangerous conflicts over the years."
"It underscores that sometimes the most important thing you can do as a journalist is be a witness for the world — and that’s what Hondros died doing."
"...one of the most gifted photojournalists of the 21st century. His most powerful work has now been collected in Testament"
Named one of Mother Jones's best photo books of the year.
About the Author
Chris Hondros (March 14, 1970—April 20, 2011) was an American Pulitzer Prize-nominated photojournalist. Born in New York City to Greek and German immigrants, both survivors of World War II, he moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina, as a child. After studying English literature at North Carolina State University and receiving a master's degree from Ohio University's School of Visual Communication, Hondros returned to New York to concentrate on international reporting.
Hondros covered most of the world's major conflicts and disasters since the late 1990s, including work in Kosovo, Afghanistan, the West Bank, Iraq, Liberia, Egypt, and Libya. Hondros was also a frequent lecturer and published essayist on issues of war, and he regularly wrote for the Virginia Quarterly Review, Editor & Publisher, the Digital Journalist, and other news publications.
Hondros, a staff photographer for Getty Images since 2000, was a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news photography: in 2004, for his work in Liberia, and posthumously in 2012, for his coverage of the Arab Spring. During his career, he received dozens of awards, among them honors from World Press Photo, the Pictures of the Year International competition, Visa pour l'Image, and the Overseas Press Club, including the John Faber Award for his work in Liberia and the Robert Capa Gold Medal, war photography's highest honor, for his work covering the conflict in Iraq.
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Like many other photographers, he was influenced by Larry Burrows in his use of saturated, high contrast color, and like Robert Capa, perhaps the preeminent photojournalist of the last century, he had a feel for dramatic action confronted head on. But dramatic action per se was not his main subject. Like Werner Bischof, one of the founders of the Magnum agency, he had a sensitivity to the psychological and physical suffering of human beings under the effects of mechanized warfare. His most brilliant series was probably from 2005, detailing the shooting of an Iraqi family by U.S. troops.
Hondros’ best shots are of children and women caught in the confusion of crossfire, and of men in the middle of some action that seems not only violent, but mysterious and absurd. Unlike Bischof, or the photographers of the past century, Hondros’ images also seem to connote a post-apocalyptic aura, where men are fighting amidst the rubble and ruins of the world as we know it. This book is, as the title states, a beautiful ‘testament’ to Mr. Hondros’ photographs. The full bleed horizontal images go over the gutter of the book leaving a blank space on one side for the eye to rest, with descriptions in the back of the book. Aside from the images there is a selection of writings by Mr. Hondros that, as one would expect, are not about him, but fully concerned with the subjects of his work, and their situation inside history in the present tense.
The photos interspersed with the writing of the photojournalist make a powerful impact.
We all need to pay attention to what is happening in the world. After seeing this book I have ordered several more to give as gifts.
This book is that important.