Tomás Munita: 2013 Recipient of the Chris Hondros Fund Award

Tomás Munita
Tomás Munita
Four brothers from the Morales family in the room where they have to share two beds with their mother. Centro Havana. July 27, 2011.

Shared human experience.

That was the driving force behind photojournalist Chris Hondros’ work. Moments of humanity, brought into the light and into the consciousness of the greater public. His images — whether made within the baked-clay walls of a compound in Basra, the mold-blanketed alleys of post-Katrina New Orleans or the quiet glades of a snow-covered Central Park — reflected an innate desire to photograph the human world he saw unfolding around him. His work was deeply empathetic, a quality that allowed him to tell stories that lingered in viewers’ minds long after the page was turned. And Hondros’ staff position at Getty Images amplified his reach — his photos sent on the wire to thousands of publications around the world, with the potential to reach literally billions of eyes.

In April 2011, in the very midst of doing the hard, important work that he loved, Hondros’ life was cut short by a mortar round.

The Chris Hondros Fund, established in his name by his fiancée Christina Piaia and close friends, aims to “continue and preserve Hondros’ distinctive abilities to bring shared human experiences into the public eye.” Now in its second year, the Fund offers financial support to photographers who work in the same vein that Hondros did — with empathy, dedication and humility.

“This award recognizes and supports photojournalists who bring the news stories of our time into view,” says Piaia.

Today, the fund, in conjunction with Getty Images, gave Chilean photographer Tomás Munita the $20,000 award, citing his “fierce commitment to photojournalism and endless drive to tell a story.” Munita’s portfolio of work, shot in a wide variety of settings and locales, reflects a strong and nuanced grasp of the human condition. His photographs of refugees in Afghanistan, prisoners in El Salvador and daily life in Cuba all demonstrate just how in touch Munita is with the currents (and undercurrents) of life.

“I would like to express my gratitude,” Munita told TIME. “[This award] is not just a recognition. It is the means to keep working on personal projects, which I am definitely going to do.”

Photographer Bryan Denton was selected as a finalist for the 2013 award; the committee cited Denton’s “rare ability to capture both the complexities and daily life of those living in conflict and its aftermath with an unyielding commitment and intellectual curiosity.”

Bryan Denton

Bryan Denton

Libyan residents of Tripoli stormed through the Bab al-Azizia compound in search of weapons as a structure burned in the background. Aug. 23, 2011.

Previously, on the first anniversary of Hondros’ death after he was killed in Libya in 2011, the fund awarded $20,000 to NOOR photographer Andrea Bruce. Emerging photographer Dominic Bracco received a $5000 runner-up award.


Tomás Munita is a freelance photographer based in Santiago, Chile. He previously photographed Church and State: The Role of Religion in Cuba for TIME.

For more information on the Chris Hondros Fund, visit ChrisHondrosFund.org.


Related Topics: , , , ,

Latest Posts

A man carries a child as another lies dead after two explosions on a beach in Gaza, July 16, 2014.

Why Violent News Images Matter

A recent slew of situations resulting in catastrophic violence and death has led to a renewed debate as to what kinds of imagery media outlets should be expected to show, writes Fred Ritchin

Read More
Ebola in Sierra Leone for the Washington Post

PJL: September 2014 (Part 1)

Zapruder film frame #372 of Kennedy assassination showing Mrs. Kennedy climbing towards Secret Service agent who is attempting to board back of limousine after Pres. Kennedy has been shot. Dallas. United States. Nov. 22, 1963.

When Amateur Photographers Make the Front Page

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,838 other followers