Tim Hetherington

Born in 1970 in Liverpool, Tim studied literature at Oxford University, and Photojournalism at Cardiff University. A member of the London based Network Photographers agency and later working with Panos Pictures, his photography archive is posthumously represented by Magnum.

Tim Hetherington photographed the experience of war from the perspective of the individual, mostly in West Africa and the Middle East.

I’ve been looking Hetherington’s work recently as I am also working on the same subject with my #phonar project as his projects. I first heard about Hetherington’s war photos a few months ago but re visited it earlier on in the #Phonar module where we were shown his work to do with his ‘Sleeping Soldiers’.

The Sleeping Soldiers video was originally meant o be shown on a 3-screen installation but has been put up on Vimeo for single screen viewing although it was never intended for small screen viewing. I really like to concept of this video and I was thinking of doing something similar with my Angola video to do with my granddad and the colonial war.

Sleeping Soldiers_single screen (2009)

Hetherington also done a Diary Video which is…

‘Diary’ is a highly personal and experimental film that expresses the subjective experience of my work, and was made as an attempt to locate myself after ten years of reporting. It’s a kaleidoscope of images that link our western reality to the seemingly distant worlds we see in the media.

Diary (2010)

The concept behind the Sleeping Soldiers is really interesting as Hetherington didn’t just want to create ‘standard’ war photos of soldiers fighting he wanted to show the relationship between them and how they spent the rest of their time other than when they were out fighting. The way the photos come across show how peaceful they look sleeping as opposed to they way they come across on ‘norma’ war photography. This is what makes this body of work so interesting and appealing to people, it is a different way of viewing soldiers other than the usual.

SleepingSoldiers1 SleepingSoldiers2 SleepingSoldiers3

I also really enjoyed how Hetherington put both of his videos together, the way the sounds and visuals work together as well as the fading effect used. I have taken quite a lot of inspiration from his work as I would like to recreate a similar visual video.


this is the main body of work which really mainly inspired me to do my phonar task as well as my grandfathers photos. Now looking back at his work I am again inspired by it making me want to improve from my phonar final task and make an even better more appealing body of work to present to the public in May. I really like the war Heatherington presents his video in three which was an idea to me at the beginning when starting phonar but now looking back I knew this wasn’t going to be possible within the time I had to produce this work at this scale. Now that I have a longer time frame to prepare and complete a body of work this is something that I may consider doing. I have already had some idea of having my own footage playing with my sounds another screen with sourced videos and sounds and possible another screen with just images. This is only a basic idea that will develop in time but I want to run with it and see what I can make from it as I believe it could work really nicely.


Tim Hetherington. (2011). Diary (2010). Available: http://vimeo.com/18497543. Last accessed 19th March 2014.

Tim Hetherington. (2009). Sleeping Soldiers. Available: http://vimeo.com/18395855. Last accessed 19th March 2014.

Tim Hetherington Trust. (2013). Tim Hetherington Trust. Available: http://www.timhetheringtontrust.org. Last accessed 19th March 2014.


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