NYC auction to raise funds for children of fallen photographer Anton Hammerl
May 15, 2012 Leave a comment
Images by renowned photographers will be auctioned at Christie’s New York auction house today in honour of a South African photojournalist who was killed in Libya in 2011.
Anton Hammerl was travelling in Brega, Eastern Libya, with three other journalists, Clare Morgana Gillis of USA Today, GlobalPost correspondent James Foley and Manu Brabo, a Spanish photographer, when they were ambushed by pro-Gaddafi forces.
The troops shot and killed Hammerl in the desert. His family believed he was alive and being held by the Libyan government, as the three other journalists were, for several weeks. His body has still not been recovered.
The first ever auction of contemporary photojournalism is being held to raise funds for Anton’s three young children. It features images by some of the world’s leading photojournalists including Robert Capa, Sebastiano Salgado, Tim Hetherington and Kate Brooks.
It also aims to put the spotlight on the risks taken by photojournalists, and particularly freelancers, covering global conflicts.
The International News Safety Institute recorded 10 journalist and media staff casualties in Libya last year, making it the fourth most dangerous country for journalists in 2011.
“Anton was the family’s primary breadwinner. He had no employer and no insurance. Beyond that we want to highlight the key role that photojournalists play in bringing information to viewers worldwide and the risks they take to fulfil it.
“Freelancer photographers in particular often assume these risks alone. In that respect Anton’s story is emblematic of the challenges faced by the most vulnerable photojournalists,” said a statement on the ‘Friends of Anton’ website, a non-profit fundraising group created in response to Hammerl’s untimely death.
“The ‘Friends of Anton’ auction is an opportunity to honor Anton Hammerl, a photographer who lived his life with conviction and was killed last year while working in Libya. It is also a moment to reflect on the gravity of war and the risks journalists face in the field,” said Brooks, whose photographs ‘Prayers for Deliverance’ and ‘Pakistani Jihadis’ are being auctioned.
For more information please visit