The Tim Hetherington Trust is proud to announce the winner of the Visionary Award 2017, which this year the judges have awarded to OMAR IMAM for completion of his innovative project “Syrialism”. Described by some as “documentary Surrealism” Omar creates conceptual portraits of a carefully constructed cross section of the Syrian diaspora including pro and anti government voices, Jihadists and pacifists, professionals and artisans and many others who are represented in ways that reflect their perspectives and experiences. Omar is primarily focused on challenging Syrian self perceptions in ways that provoke enlightened awareness of the broader Syrian condition, and secondarily offers a window through which other cultures can watch and learn about the Syrian experience since the onset of civil war in 2011.
In finalizing the Visionary Award 2017 the judges took the unusual step of adding a supplementary award to ANDREA ELLEN REED for her project “Unseen” which offers an authentic insight into the Black experience in USA 2017, told with startling clarity through a soundtrack of pundits, politicians and others describing the world we live in accompanied by a video of Andrea the artist watching and listening. It’s an approach that is simple yet innovative and delivers a visceral understanding of how it is to be so deeply enmeshed in American culture yet held on the periphery as an onlooker on one’s own participation. In keeping with everything that Tim stood for, it’s hard to describe yet simple to understand once seen and is overall profoundly honest.
The Trust was established to honor the legacy and life of Tim Hetherington. Tim Hetherington’s mission to create a better understanding of the world cast him in many roles: photojournalist, filmmaker, human rights advocate, artist and a leading thinker in media innovation. After graduating from Oxford in 1992 with a degree in Classics and English he began a deep exploration of visual media as a tool to explore and communicate the issues that fascinated him. With a second degree in photojournalism from Cardiff University (1997) he worked initially for the UK press and soon branched into international coverage. Working and living in Africa for many years he explored the consequences of conflict and quickly came to document conflict itself before delving deeper to understand the origins and causes of violence. This and other work took him around the world, including a year-long study of American fighting forces in Afghanistan from 2007 to 2008 and ultimately to Libya where he was killed in a mortar attack in April 2011.
His loss devastated us and our community.
MediaStorm recently developed a film for ICP and Harber’s Studio on Michael Christopher, this year’s ICP Infinity Award winner for Artist’s Book. His book, Libyan Sugar, documents his time as a war photojournalist in Libya, where he worked alongside Tim and Chris Hondros, who was also killed in that fateful mortar attack in April. In many ways, his film is a tribute to what that Tim taught him about telling the truth about war, and the devastations, and real consequences of war itself. We share this film with you today in his memory.
Watch the film here.