Testament, a collection of war photographs by photojournalist, Chris Hondros (1970 – 2011) “A shared experience…” When I first viewed the work of Chris Hondros prior to his tribute, my first reaction was, a war photojournalist sharing the emotive experiences of people caught between conflicts and wars. When I arrived at powerHouse Books on April 9 to attend the tribute for Testament, a collection of war photographs by photojournalist, Chris Hondros (1970 – 2011), I was not sure what to expect. As I approached the venue, I was surprised by the large crowd already gathered inside and steadily grew over the next hour. The venue seemed to have a pulse, a vibe, even a presence. Hondros was a New Yorker. They came to pay tribute to a slain photojournalist who by his unyielding determination, photographed most major wars and conflicts around the world during his lifetime. When you see his work, you are immediately transported and share the same spaces as his subjects. An Egyptian woman stands facing a soldier; we see only his pointing hand in frame and the other women shielding the children. Their fear is mesmerizing. He was more than a photographer, a man on a mission to educate the world about the horror of war. Chris Hondros left behind a collection of photographs as proof of his life’s mission: “One of the ongoing themes in my work, I hope, and one of the things I believe in, is a sense of human nature, a sense of shared humanity above the cultural layers we place on ourselves [which don’t] mean that much compared to the human experience.” —Chris Hondros Photographing some of the most dangerous and difficult places around the world, Hondras captured the human condition, the inhumanity of war, and even evokes an emotion, a memory from the viewer through his photographs. One photograph entitled, Mohammed, 7 years old, stands near his family’s mud brick house […], I Kandahar, Afghanistan. The eyes of seven year old Muhammed conveyed layers of emotion in that moment, in that hell on earth, through the eyes of a child. Leaving the event at powerHouse Books, I had an elevated respect for the works, awards, the art and the storytelling of a war photojournalist.
Photographs and text by Chris Hondros
Edited by Alexandra Ciric, Francisco P. Bernasconi, and Christina Piaia
Introduction by Jonathan Klein
Foreword by Régis Le Sommier
Afterword by Greg Campbell–