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“They always look so tough… but when they’re asleep they look like little boys. They look the way their mothers probably remember them.”
Quote by Tim Hetherington, talking to his creative collaborator Sebastian Junger.
From 2007 to 2008, Hetherington followed the deployment of a platoon of US Airborne Infantry stationed in the Korengal Valley of Eastern Afghanistan. The platoon founded an outpost on a rocky mountain outcrop. There was no road up to the outpost, and it took an hour’s walk to reach the valley floor. “Everyone had this fear that they might be overrun in the night. During my time with them, 70% of the platoon were taking some kind of mood-enhancing or sleep-affecting medication,” said Hetherington . “Cut off and in an extreme situation, these men welcomed me into their lives. I worked, ate, and slept among them—slowly gaining their trust and access into their lives. These images are a result of that intimacy.”
This work resulted in a 3-channel immersive video installation; an Academy award-nominated feature documentary Restrepo, co-directed with Sebastian Junger; and a book of photographs Infidel.