Profound tribute to famed photographers debuts Wednesday

Anchorage Daily NewsApril 14, 2012 

On April 20, 2011, photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros were killed while documenting the civil war in Libya. The two were among the top ranks of international news photographers, friends and mentors to many of the important visual chroniclers of our time.

Among those moved by their deaths was photographer Benjamin Spatz, formerly of Anchorage, now based in Washington, D.C. He contacted leading photojournalists around the world asking each to submit a single photograph that, in their view, addressed the theme of "Liberty and Justice (for All)." Contributors were invited to include text to explain the photographs.

Sixty-eight photographers responded, including some Alaskans. The resulting photo essay, "Liberty and Justice (for All): A Global Photo Mosaic," appears as a special section in the new edition of the Alaska Quarterly Review, the nationally noted literary journal for which Spatz's father, Ronald Spatz, is the founding editor and editor-in-chief. It occupies the last half of the 30th anniversary edition of the magazine.

"Photographers seldom have so much liberty to select images for publication," writes Benjamin Spatz. "Editors usually choose what is published, and as a result, the public never sees some of the images that are most meaningful to the photographers who made them."

Choosing which images to include in today's Life & Arts section was a challenge. Each conveys emotion and drama in overwhelming ways and all border on photographic perfection. All are included in the Spring and Summer 2012 edition of Alaska Quarterly Review, which will be available at a reception on Wednesday at the Anchorage Museum. The event will also feature a slide show of the complete set.

Here is some of what you will see.

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