As the news from Ukraine grows increasingly dire, the world relies on journalists and photographers to report what is happening.
Two of the best photojournalists are the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize winners Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks. Both are — incredibly — Staples High School graduates, just 3 classes apart (1991 and ’88).
They’ve reported from the globe’s most dangerous spots: Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and many more. This may be their most treacherous assignment yet.
Both are there because they want to be. But that does not make things any easier for their relatives here in Westport.
“It’s very tough,” admits Camille Addario, Lynsey’s mother. “To think that this fearless little girl has been all over the world, documenting tragedies.
“‘It’s what I do. Anything can happen anywhere,’ she always says. So I can only pray and support her, and hope that she gets home safely to her husband and 2 boys, and everyone who cares for her. The last thing she needs is guilt from her mother and sisters.”
Lynsey FaceTimed Camille on Wednesday. She said the Times had put her up in a safe hotel.
However, Camille says, yesterday she moved to a more perilous spot.
“That’s Lynsey,” her mother says. “She’s right there.”
Camille does not watch much coverage of the conflict. Instead, she says, “I hope and pray that my mother is looking down, and has her hand on Lynsey’s shoulder. She’s always been her protector.”
Lynsey’s grandmother Louise Bonito died in November 2020 — at 107.
Camille calls herself “blessed” by the support of family and friends. She has received many calls and texts. She thanks everyone for thinking of her and Lynsey.
And, she says, “like everyone, we’re just waiting for this awful thing to end.”
Not far from Camille’s home, artist Darcy Hicks worries too. Her brother is Tyler Hicks.
“My mother, being an artist, brought me and her brother up with imagery. What you see in front of you, and how it makes you feel — that’s just true.
“So I think he and I both found ways — very different ways. — to express ourselves through imagery.
“People are surprised when I tell them that Tyler is really not at all political, partly because he’s my brother [Darcy is active in progressive politics] and partly because he’s always covering warfare, which is of course politics.
“But he truly goes in with no preconceptions about the story he’s going to tell. He can’t go in looking for some piece of evidence that proves his point, ignoring the stuff that challenges his ideals.
“He just looks through the lens and shows us what is really going on. Imagine if we could all communicate that way. Seeing the gray, instead of finding a corner and an enemy.
“I’m very proud of him. But I will wring his neck when he gets out of there. Today, the world feels very unsustainable.”
In 2015, Camille Addario was interviewed by Time magazine about being the mother of a “war photographer.” Click here to read.)
Both are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. At one time our son was a journalist, although never famous, I do understand what it is like to have a loved one, your child, in a danger zone.
So very difficult for the families of these fearless journalists. Sending prayers that Lynsey, Tyler and all the Ukrainian citizens be protected 🙏
Dear Camille…will be thinking of you and Lyndsey and praying for everyone’s safety.