New York Times award-winning war photographer Tyler Hicks discussed his work with students and explained why he thinks journalism coverage of conflict and war is important. Mr. Hicks was on campus for three days as the Melissa Dilworth Gold Visiting Artist sharing his experiences and working closely with students in classes.
“Many people ask me why I continue to go back to areas that can be dangerous,” says Mr. Hicks. “First, it’s my job. Second, I feel responsible for documenting these events and for telling people’s stories, especially in areas with American soldiers.”
In visual art and photography classes, Mr. Hicks showed his images from Afghanistan and Iraq, and he talked about becoming a photojournalist after graduating from Boston University’s School of Communication in 1992. After various staff photographer jobs, Mr. Hicks traveled to Kosovo on his own for two weeks where he was deeply moved by what he saw. He left his job and returned to Kosovo as a freelance photographer where he covered the Balkan crisis. He began working for the New York Times in 2002 and was named Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 2007. In 2009, he shared the Pulitzer Prize with a group of fellow Times staff members.
During Wednesday morning assembly with Class I and II students, Mr. Hicks shared a series of his photographs from assignments in Gaza, Libya, Syria and Pakistan. He discussed his weeklong capture in Libya and the agony of losing close friends over the years. He also talked about the beauty of the places he has been and the spirit of the people who live there. He enthusiastically encouraged students to travel to places off the beaten path to “see a completely different way of living.” He also urged them not to be afraid to “take chances and risks, and follow what you want to do in your life.”
Mr. Hicks returns to his home in Nairobi, Kenya, for a quick rest before heading off to his next assignment in Pakistan to cover the upcoming presidential elections.
The Melissa Dilworth Gold ’61 Visiting Artist series commemorates Melissa’s life and interests by bringing internationally recognized artists to campus. As part of the series, each visiting artist also spends time with local public school students.