Infidel. Photographs by Tim Hetherington. Introduction by Sebastian Junger.
Infidel is an intimate portrait of a single U.S. platoon, assigned to an outpost in the Korengal Valley—an area considered one of the most dangerous Afghan postings in the war against the Taliban—but it is as much about love and male vulnerability as it is about bravery and war. Embedded with writer Sebastian Junger, and shooting over the course of one year, photographer Tim Hetherington made a series of images that prove surprisingly tender in their depiction of camaraderie and vulnerability (among the most moving is a series of the platoon sleeping). Alongside revealing interviews with Hetherington’s subjects and an introduction by Junger (with whom Hetherington co-directed the award-winning film Restrepo, about the work of the battalion), the book is also illustrated with graphics of the tattoos the soldiers gave each other in the camp. The title Infidel is taken from the tattoo the men adopted as a badge of their comradeship. Warm, moving and full of humor, this book is 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.
Tim Hetherington was born in Liverpool, U.K., and took up photojournalism after studying literature at Oxford University. Five years spent living in Liberia resulted in the book Long Story Bit By Bit: Liberia Retold (2009), and awards for his photojournalism include World Press Photo of the Year 2007 (for his dramatic war photography from Afghanistan), the Rory Peck Award for Features (2008) and an Alfred I duPont Award for excellence in broadcast journalism while on assignment with Sebastian Junger for ABC News (2009). As a filmmaker, he has worked as both a cameraman and director/producer. Restrepo won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. He is based in New York and is a contributing photographer for Vanity Fair magazine.