NYC Fire Museum hosts 'groundbreaking' look at war

Join us for a reception and view the groundbreaking multimedia war exhibit
sponsored by
The Independence Fund, the Chris Hondros Fund, FDNY Fire Family Transport Foundation
and the New York City Fire Museum

6 to 9 pm
Friday, Feb 10, 2012
New York Fire Museum
278 Spring Street, New York, NY

Exhibit Runs through February 17th, 2012 

 

 

A New York Times photographer who lost both legs last year while on assignment for the New York Times in Afghanistan is the inspiration behind a groundbreaking multimedia exhibit that will open Feb. 10 at the New York City Fire Museum in Lower Manhattan.

After Joao Silva was injured in October 2010, more than 20 combat journalists pooled their images from Iraq and Afghanistan to create “Conflict Zone,” the first collaboration of its kind.

Both civilian and military journalists are represented in the exhibit, including several currently deployed or on assignment.

“The New York City Fire Museum supports all the brave men and women keeping our country safe just as much as 'The Bravest' who keep us safe at home, and we see this exhibit as a special way for us to honor the dedication and sacrifice our service people make every day,” said Damon Campagna, director and curator of the New York City Fire Museum (www.nycfiremuseum.org).

The Independence Fund, FDNY Fire Family Transport Foundation and the Chris Hondros Fund are co-sponsoring the exhibit at the fire museum, which runs through Feb. 17 at the museum, located at 278 Spring St.

Contributors to Conflict Zone (www.conflictzone.org) feature the late Chris Hondros and awardwinners Andrea Bruce, Jeff Newton, Greg Marinovich, Jason P. Howe and Kathleen Flynn. The work exhibited in Conflict Zone first appeared in the New York Times, Getty Images, the Washington Post, CBS News, the San Antonio-Express News, U.S. News & World Report, the St. Petersburg Times and USA Today.

Hondros was one of the key supporters of Conflict Zone before he was killed in Libya in April 2011 while on assignment for Getty Images. The exhibit, which is dedicated to Hondros, will feature additional images from him for the New York City show through the fund established in his memory (www.chrishondrosfund.org).

"Chris believed in Conflict Zone's potential to bring the unique perspectives of conflict photojournalists, documenting both the harsh realities and nuances of war, to a wider range of audiences,” said Christina Piaia, president of the Chris Hondros Fund. “This very possibility - to engage the public about the work of photojournalists in conflict and the effects of conflict on civilians, combatants, and society - is the impetus for the Fund’s continued support of Conflict Zone and their efforts to raise awareness on such important issues.”

Conflict Zone is a special project of The Independence Fund, a non-profit that helps meet some of the long-term financial and equipment needs of severely injured troops and their families. Half of any proceeds raised through Conflict Zone will be donated to the Chris Hondros Fund, 25 percent to the Fisher House and the remainder to support the Independence Fund.

“The photographers and journalists who are part of Conflict Zone are scattered, some still on the battle field, which made this extraordinarily difficult to pull together,” said Jackie Spinner, codirector of the exhibit and a former staff writer for The Washington Post. “We have Army photographers and some of the biggest names in combat journalism. We have print, multimedia and old school photographers who remember what a darkroom is. And all of them signed on to help Joao and to help injured troops.”

Silva's haunting series of images snapped in the seconds after he was injured in the blast are included in the exhibit, which features nearly 100 photographs in its permanent collection as well as video and audio from Iraq and Afghanistan. The exhibit also includes the iconic image from Hondros of a screaming 5-year-old girl whose parents were shot and killed at a checkpoint in Iraq.

“Hopefully the awareness will translate into funds to help ease some of the suffering and spur the transition to resolve the conflict into comfort zones,” said Jerry Kykisz, a Vietnam veteran who was the original curator for Conflict Zone and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Veterans Art Museum.

The exhibit opened May 7 in Chicago and is now traveling throughout the United States with the help of various partners in the cities where it will be showcased. “Supporting Joao and injured service men and women through photography is powerful on several levels,” said Kathleen Flynn, a photographer for the Tampa Bay Times, formerly the St. Petersburg Times. “It gives them some financial support while highlighting the importance of conflict photography. Someone recently told me that the photos in the show told the narrative of the wars better than any story he had ever read. I think there is significance in the fact that this is a show with both military and civilian photojournalists.”

Flynn's images of an injured Marine who lost both legs in Afghanistan are part of the exhibit. A gallery of images from Conflict Zone can be viewed at www.conflictzone.org. The multimedia website was created by Laura Sellinger, a combat veteran who was injured in Iraq while deployed for the U.S. Air Force as an intelligence specialist. Although she is still recovering from a traumatic brain injury and a subsequent mini-stroke in 2009, Sellinger has been able to work around her disabilities to design the Conflict Zone Web site.

The Independence Fund is a 501(c)3 organization. Donations to the group are tax-deductible. The Indy Fund has no paid staff and is run entirely by combat veterans. Unique among veterans group, it has offered assistance to civilian journalists injured in combat zones.

“The truth is, I go to these places because there is no more important a story than covering the cost of war on humanity,” said Jeff Newton, 60 Minutes producer who is part of the CBS team that recently won the prestigious duPont-Columbia University award, television's highest honor.

“It is man vs man. Man vs. nature. And ultimately, Man vs. himself. And that is where I find this world most interesting. I am not a crusader, a proponent or a detractor of war, but rather a careful observer of it. And I hope through my work to always be able to use those observations to help people understand war.”

As part of the exhibit, Conflict Zone invites veterans of the War in Terror who live in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut area to submit photos for a competition. Three winners will be selected for inclusion in the exhibit. To submit photographs, please follow instructions found on the Conflict Zone website (under Events).

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Conflict Zone--Jackie Spinner, jackiespinner@mac.com, 202-441-0228

Chris Hondros Fund--Christina Piaia, press@chrishondrosfund.org, 646-926-4705