LM-BROCHURE (Front - 2013)
BROCHURE - 2010 (jpg)
Brochure (inside)
Which Way is the Front Line from Here?
The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington
Tim Hetherington Tim Hetherington documentary screening - Ecosoc

Born: December 5, 1970, Birkenhead, United Kingdom
Died: April 20, 2011, Misurata, Libya
Photo: Jens Ressing/EPA - For Fairly Use

ECOSOC Chamber, Conference Building, United Nations H.Q. May 2, 2013, 3 to-6p.m.
Photo: The Light Millennium

Highlights by: Hande SUBASILAR,
Alternate Representative of The Light Millennium to the UN/DPI.

- World Press Freedom Day serves to remind us of the free, pluralistic spirit of the independent press.

A screening of the new film: "Which Way is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Times of Tim Hetherington" was held at the commemoration of the ECOSOC Chamber at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and jointly presented by UNESCO and Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations. The film documents the life and works of photographer and journalist Tim Hetherington, who was killed in 2011 at age 40, while covering the conflict in Libya. This documentary was directed by Sebastian Junger along with Hetherington, who directed the 2010 Academy Award nominated Afghanistan war documentary “Restrepo.”

Before the screening moderator Ms. Suzanne Bilello, Senior Communications and Liaison Officer at the UNESCO’s New York Office, welcomed and introduced panelists. The panelists were H.E. Mr. Saul Weisleder, Ambassador Deputy Permanent Representative of Costa Rica; H.E. Mr. Dimitris Caramitsos, Deputy Permanent Representative of Greece; Mr. James Brabazon, journalist and documentary film maker; Mr. Christopher Anderson, photographer; Ms. Lily Hindy, RISC Training Deputy Director; Ms. Kate Black, Associate Director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University in New York City.

"Attacking journalists and the press whether physically or
verbally seriously threatens freedom of expression and the code."

H.E. Mr. Saul Weisleder, Ambassador Deputy Permanent Representative of Costa Rica, started his speech mentioning the Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

H.E. Weisleder continued that attacking journalists and the press, whether physically or verbally, seriously threatens freedom of expression; thus, violating the aforementioned law. This year, UNESCO will celebrate world freedom day in Costa Rica with an international conference on the theme: “Safe to speak, securing freedom of expression in all media.” There will be 3 main issues discussed in this conference: (i.) ensuring the safety of journalists and media personnel, (ii.) combating impunity against press freedom, and (iii.) online safety. H.E. Weisleder also mentioned the efforts of the UN and UNESCO on impunity issues.

Afterwards, H.E. Weisleder, James Brabazon, journalist and documentary film maker, introduced the documentary about his close friend Tim Hetherington titled, “Which Way is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington.” Director Sebastian Junger showed a selection of Hetherington’s photographs and segments from his footage of Liberia, Afghanistan, and Libya and heart-felt interviews with his family, friends, and colleagues.

The film also illustrates that Tim Hetherington was not just a photographer but also a combat journalist. This gave him insight into not only understanding the wars that he covered, but it also allowed him to engage with and get to know the civilians caught in the cross-fire of the war zones. Tim's photographs of sleeping soldiers in Afghanistan are a very good example of his effort to bring out the hidden side of the war.

After screening H.E. Mr. Dimitris Caramitsos, Deputy Permanent Representative of Greece, commenced his speech stating that “after such a touching documentary seeing the conditions on journalists’ work, realizing the risk they take what we can do to help them in their work and how we can avoid more victims of violence in conflict situations?”

"It wasn’t enough just witness, you needed to also understand what your responsibilities were."

Thereafter, Mr. James Brabazon spoke more about Tim Hetherington and his works. He stated: “Tim once said to me it wasn’t enough just to witness, you needed to also understand what your responsibilities were.” Mr. Brabazon mentioned that this might be the golden age of journalism because today’s technology provides rapid access to news all around the world and the internet is almost everywhere and is also affordable. He concluded by mentioning: “If we think that Tim’s journey is valuable, then I think we need to work very hard, collectively, how we value and encourage people who bring us images and analysis of a conflict…They need support, insurance, training, and understanding.”

Ms. Lily Hindy, Deputy Training Director for Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (RISC), explained why and how RISC was established. Journalist and director of the documentary film Sebastian Junger founded RISC after his close friend and colleague, Tim Hetherigton, died from wounds which he sustained in a mortar attack in the Libyan conflict. Despite his severe wounds, if someone in the back of the truck which transported him to the hospital, had knowledge of first-aid, he would not have lost his life. Affected by the incident, Sebastian Junger decided to establish RISC. RISC trains and equips freelance conflict journalists to treat life-threatening injuries on the battlefield.

Next, Mr. Christopher Anderson, photographer and close friend of Tim Hetherington, discussed the film. As a friend of Tim Hetherington, he said that he felt encouraged by the audience turnout, seeing Tim’s life and message being able to reach people even in his death. Mr. Anderson also mentioned the importance of RISC.

Ms. Kate Black, Associate Director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University in New York City, began her speech explaining what the Dart Center does. The Dart Center is a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is dedicated to informed, innovative, and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict, and tragedy. It provides journalists around the world with the resources necessary to meet the challenges that they may face while drawing on a global, interdisciplinary network of news professionals, mental health experts, educators, and researchers.

After Ms. Black’s speech, the moderator Ms. Bilello, thanked panelists and the audience and then opened the floor for questions. The Representative of the International Committee of Red Cross Delegation to UN mentioned two legal provisions in the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols with regard to media personnel in international conflict zones. Then, the Representative of International Traumatic Stress Studies discussed their 2001 publication of a book on behalf of the UN titled, “Sharing the Front Line and Back Hills.” This book attempted to formulate the risks and costs incurred by all media professionals.

After the Q & A, the panel concluded.

- . -

- World Press Freedom Day serves to remind us of the free, pluralistic spirit of the independent press.

- Which Way is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington

- Proofread by Ayça BAHÇE, Volunteer of The Light Millennium.

Posted by Bircan Ünver on May 23, and updated on May 27, 2013.

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