About Us

Origins, goals and organization

Friends of Anton was created in response to the tragic events of April 5th 2011. Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch was the first to post an early idea on a Facebook group of international reporters: “Anton’s death, unlike Tim (Hetherington) and Chris (Hondros), leaves behind two young children. I am wondering if we can’t organize a common print auction where various photographers donate a favorite print.” It struck a chord.

Our Goal

Our primary goal is to raise funds to ensure Anton’s three young children’s receive the best university education possible. Anton was the family’s primary breadwinner. He had no employer and no insurance. Beyond that we want to highlight the key role that photojournalists play in bringing information to viewers worldwide and the risks they take to fulfill it. Freelancers photographers in particular often assume these risks alone. In that respect Anton’s story is emblematic of the challenges faced by the most vulnerable photojournalists.

The Community Banding Together

Friends of Anton is the direct result of the solidarity that unites members of the international press community. Through Friends of Anton they have banded together as volunteers, contributing photographers and supporters to help the family of one of their own. Some are united by a longtime friendship built over years covering the same major news stories. Others have never met but have this profession in common. All are united by a strong sense that we stick by each other, particularly the most exposed, the freelancers.

A Groundbreaking Auction at Christie’s

Outstanding, signed, mostly editioned, high-quality prints of work by a select group of acclaimed photographers will be auctioned off by Christie’s in their first-ever sale of contemporary photojournalism prints during an exclusive evening in New York on May 15th 2012.

Unsigned, un-editioned and more affordable prints produced on-demand can also be purchased at all times from our sister site.

Principal Organizers

Clare Gillis. Clare is a freelance writer. She has worked for USA Today, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic. She was with Anton when he was killed and was held with James Foley and Manu Brabo for 44 days by Gaddafi loyalists.

James Foley. James is a freelance writer and videographer. He has worked for GlobalPost. He has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. He was also with Anton on that fateful day and was detained with Clare Gillis and Manu Brabo for 44 days by Gaddafi loyalists.

David Brabyn. David is a New York-based freelance photojournalist. He has worked for The New York Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde. He is also a web consultant for photographers.

Supporting Organizations

Press freedom advocacy NGO Reporters Without Borders is acting as our 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor allowing all sums collected to be tax-deductible to the full extent of US law.

World-leading auction house Christie’s has offered to host our auction. Renowned auctioneer Lydia Fenet will be manning the gavel.

Non-profit consultants Innovative Philanthropy are advising us.

PR firm Edelman is lending us a PR hand.