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Conflict

Tim Hetherington: Infidel

In 2010, the late Tim Hetherington, along with writer Sebastian Junger, documented a battalion of soldiers positioned in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan

Tim Hetherington

Tim Hetherington Jones practices his golf swing while at the main KOP firebase in the valley. Soldiers spend about 2 weeks at the Restrepo outpost before coming back to the main KOP base where they can get a hot sh (...)
Tim Hetherington Battle Company. Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. 2008. © Tim Hetherington | Magnum Photos
Tim Hetherington Specialist Tad Donoho screams with pain after being administered a 'pink belly' for his birthday. Each member of the platoon strikes his stomach until it begins to bruise, hence the name 'pink bell (...)
Tim Hetherington Bobby kisses Cortez during a play-fight at the barracks of 2nd Platoon at the Korengal Outpost. Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. June, 2008. © Tim Hetherington | Magnum Photos
Tim Hetherington 'Doc' Kelso sleeping. Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. July, 2008. © Tim Hetherington | Magnum Photos
Tim Hetherington The artillery base at Camp Blessing respond with fire support whenever firefights start in the Korengal Valley. Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. April, 2008. © Tim Hetherington | Magnum Photos
Tim Hetherington Grenade bandolier. Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. 2007. © Tim Hetherington | Magnum Photos
Tim Hetherington O'Byrne takes cover from the dust being generated by an incoming Chinook helicopter delivering supplies to 'Restrepo' firebase. Battle Company, 2nd Battalion Airborne of the 503rd US Infantry are c (...)
Tim Hetherington Sergeant Cunard breaks down after finding his best friend Sergeant Rougle dead after US positions on the Abas Ghar ridge are overrun by Islamic militants. In October, 2007, Battle Company was at th (...)
Tim Hetherington Sergeant Cunard breaks down after finding his best friend Sergeant Rougle dead after US positions on the Abas Ghar ridge are overrun by Islamic militants. Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. 2007. © Tim Hetherington | Magnum Photos
Tim Hetherington A soldier from 2nd platoon rests at the end of a day of heavy fighting at the 'Restrepo' outpost. The position was named after the medic Juan Restrepo from 2nd Platoon who was killed by insurgents. (...)
Tim Hetherington Specialist Tad Donoho watches while other members of 2nd Platoon look at porn in their hootch at the main firebase in the valley. Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. July 2008. © Tim Hetherington | Magnum Photos
Tim Hetherington Sergeant Stichter lifts weights at the Restrepo outpost. Many of the soldiers lift weights to keep fit but also to stay occupied during periods when there is no fighting. Korengal Valley, Kunar Pr (...)
Tim Hetherington Men from 2nd Platoon dig earth for use as sand bags to reinforce parts of the Restrepo bunker. Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. June 2008. © Tim Hetherington | Magnum Photos
Tim Hetherington Sergeant Elliot Alcantara sleeping. Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. July 2008. © Tim Hetherington | Magnum Photos

Infidel is an intimate portrait of a small battalion of US soldiers posted to an outpost in the Korengal Valley, an area considered to be one of the most dangerous Afghan postings during America and its allies’ war against the Taliban. Hetherington was joined by writer Sebastian Junger, spending one-year capturing images.

Hetherington’s photographs prove surprisingly tender – arguably the strongest among them a series of the men asleep – this is a book as much about love and male vulnerability as it is about bravery and war. With revealing interviews by Junger (with whom Hetherington co-directed the film Restrepo), the book is also illustrated with graphics of the tattoos the soldiers gave each other in the camp. Provocatively designed in the manner of a Bible, Infidel is warm, moving and full of humour; it is both a tribute to the “rough men ready to do violence on our behalf,” and a provocative contribution to the documentation of war in our time.