Today I read the obituary of Tim Hetherington, a renowned photojournalist who was recently killed, alongside the photographer Chris Hondros, by mortar rounds in Misurata, in the ongoing conflict in Libya a few days ago. His obituary in The Daily Telegraph can be found here, and his obituary on the Human Rights Watch website can be found here.
As I read about his journalistic work covering conflicts, recording people’s stories and the unrest in countries such as Nigeria, Chad, Libya, Afghanistan, Darfur and Liberia amongst others, I recognised his work. I had watched Restrepo, his and Sebastian Junger’s film about US soldiers deployed in Afghanistan. His work has helped to spark international outrage over Liberia’s civil war and the atrocities carried out by Charles Taylor, which has helped to inform Western audiences. He will also be remembered for his dedicated work with Human Rights Watch.
It is important that we do not forget that whilst he was objective in his work and compassionate in his outlook, Hetherington also worked and helped support various charities that tried to make a difference for the hard hit people he documented.
As journalists document the world around them, archaeologists document the world before them. However archaeologists are not immune from what goes around them. We, too, live in the present. We do not just deal in the past. Although we uncover and investigate artefacts and cultures, we also use multidisciplinary approaches in our work. We use ethnographic evidence from a wide range of nations, we participate with research groups from other countries, we compile evidence and hold discussions worldwide. One way in which we can become involved is through groups such as this University of Sheffield Archaeologists for Justice.
This is the world we live in. We can help to make an informed decision. There is a variety of blogs (The Activist), newspapers, magazine and television programs (Unreported World strand) that help to highlight injustice in the world, and more importantly what we can do as individuals or groups to help change.
You too can help by sponsoring or donating money to a number of important charities. I have named a few in the blog roll below, here are a few more:
The Avaaz- The World In Action site directly provides the people with a voice on matters worldwide, from a world-wide community. Medecins Sans Frontieres are a charity that support doctors and provide medical supplies to various poverty & war stricken nations across the world. The Disaster Emergency Committee provide vital care and aid to countries that have to cope with natural disaster aftermaths, both in the long-term and the short-term. Unicef is the United Nations arm that help to provide care and attention to children throughout the world. The Anti-Slavery charity website help investigate, report and help people recuperate worldwide from the effects of modern-day slavery. This is involves sex slavery, child slavery & forced labour in a variety of countries.