Dominic Bracco, the Tim Hetherington Trust Visionary Award winner: "I saw people I love do horrific things"

“Even with the best intentions, I find my own work could be used as ammunition to create this sort of propaganda,” says Bracco. “I’ve been struggling with this concept. I guess representation is something that I think about a lot.
Given the complexity of the subjects in his photography, Bracco has begun to explore other visual performance mediums. He has written a stage script, where the fictional characters are based on the friends he has made, and intends on exploring the idea of making a television series, using a similar narrative as ‘The Backs of Men’.
“I find that fiction is a place where I can celebrate the people I have met,” Bracco says. “I want to continue working as a documentary photographer – with the idea that it’s my way of taking notes. Meanwhile, there is also a product at the end that includes a work of fiction.”
08 © Bracco republic02
Nevertheless, it is for this photography project, born from his perseverance in telling very personal stories of the crisis, that Bracco was awarded the 2016 Visionary Award from the Tim Hetherington Trust.
The Trust was set up in honour of Tim Hetherington, the late, profoundly respected photojournalist, who was tragically killed five years ago on assignment in Libya. On finding out that Bracco was this year’s winner, he “totally lost it. I cried like a baby.”
“I can’t imagine an award that is as important to me as this one,” he says. “In so many ways, I’ve been modelling my own career after him, so it is amazing to get this honour. I feel really sad that I never got to meet him.”
“If I can accomplish one thing it would be to change public opinion about what is happening to the people who are fleeing these places of violence. I think that this is going to be my life’s work.”
See more of Dominic’s work here. And find out more about the Tim Hetherington Trust Visionary Award here

Izabela Radwanska Zhang

Starting out as an intern back in 2016, Izabela Radwanska Zhang is now the Editorial Director of British Journal of Photography in print and online. Her words have appeared in Disegno and Press Association. Prior to this, she completed a MA in Magazine Journalism at City University, London, and most recently, a Postgrad Certificate in Graphic Design at London College of Communication.