Assignment 2 – Long Story Bit By Bit

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Long Story Bit By Bit (2009) – A book that is different to infidel in the respect that Hetherington is not as close to those being photographed, so it is less of a truth, but still a good depiction through photo-journalism. Instead of photographing the humanity of war; this series of work is much more journalistic, and less artistic; but it depicts Libyan culture well during chaos. Hetherington captures portraits of important individuals and documents their position and what they do in Libya, which gives a contrast to the urban landscapes depicting Libya. These landscapes show the brutality of their civil war, showing the interpretations of the terror draw on walls by children.

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Hetherington feels the need to capture the detail of situations, because only then will all the little brush strokes make the whole painting. An image of a decaying orange, was a perfect portrait of Libya in its state when Hetherington photographed it in 2004-2005, with its ripeness fading since its separation from Italy in 1947 and becoming too ravaged to improve. Hetherington spots these fine details and captures them as an artefact, each photograph gets the feel of abandonment by government, and each extreme of wealth and poverty seems too far apart.

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Each building or object, although accommodating citizens and being thoroughly used, feels abandoned; but abandoned by government instead of inhabitants, tinged by the weak economy and social repression. Overall this project feels more traditional, and less like the experimental infidel, but even still, Hetherington’s attention to detail makes it stand out as a slightly different set of work and earns its place among the greats of war photography.

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