The Last Testament of Chris Hondros

Searing images from a posthumously-released collection of war photography
Chris Hondros/Getty Images

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Bearing Witness

When longtime Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros died in April 2011 after suffering shrapnel wounds in Libya, he left behind a fiancé, a close group of friends and collaborators and a body of work that established him as one of the most gifted photojournalists of the 21st century. His most powerful work has now been collected in Testament, out April 8th from PowerHouse books and Getty Images.

Hondros had the ability to capture the essence of his subjects, whether they were traumatized mothers, child soldiers or Americans "sent into harms way in unfamiliar lands," as he wrote for a 2010 exhibition in his hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina. "I always try to keep my work focused on the people most impacted by these conflicts."

But his true skill was to show how emotions like pain, fear, and love are ubiquitous. "One of the ongoing themes in my work," said Hondros, "is a sense of human nature, a sense of shared humanity . . . We place these layers of ethnicity and culture on ourselves, and it really doesn’t mean that much compared to the human experience." 

What follows is a collection of images and accompanying captions from Testament. By Elisabeth Garber-Paul

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