In April of last year, the photojournalism community lost a very talented photographer and friend: Anton Hammerl of South Africa. Anton and three other journalists went missing on April 5, 2011 in Libya after coming under fire from Gaddafi loyalists. Libyan authorities said that the group was detained for 44 days, but it’s now clear that Anton was killed on day one. The other three journalists were eventually released and returned home.
Anton left behind three young children, and in an effort to provide ongoing support for his family, the community banded together to form Friends of Anton. The organization works to sell prints by a variety of renowned and respected photojournalists in the Friends of Anton Gallery and donates the proceeds to Anton’s family.
On May 15th, 2012 something big is happening: Christie’s is holding its first-ever sale of contemporary photojournalism prints in conjunction with Friends of Anton. The auction will showcase outstanding, signed, mostly editioned prints of work by a select group of acclaimed photographers.
PhotoShelter member and photojournalist David Brabyn is co-organizing the auction at Christie’s, and says on the project:
“Our immediate goal is to support the long term security of Anton’s 3 young children. Our wider goal is to highlight the importance of photojournalism as a source of information for readers and viewers worldwide and the risk photojournalists – particularly freelancers – take to fulfill it. Not everyone realizes what it takes to get news images to the pages of magazines and websites. If, in addition to all that, we can help grow the space for photojournalism in the art market even a little we would be delighted.”
So what can you do help? (Click the link for more information.)
PhotoShelter is also sponsoring this print by award-winning photojournalist Ron Haviv, titled “Girl in Blue”:
Asked what the reaction to the auction has been thus far, David says: “Photographers have responded enthusiastically. The name Friends of Anton could not be more appropriate. Only a handful actually ever meet Anton in Libya and those that did all say he struck them as the nicest guy. But most didn’t and yet almost everyone wanted to help. This evening will be an astonishing display of the strength of the bonds that unite the photojournalism community.”
For more information on the Christie’s auction and Friends of Anton, please visit friendsofanton.org.