The Only House Left Standing

by Hurndall, Tom

The unfolding events in the run up to the Iraq war had given Tom Hurndall, a 21-year-old British photojournalist, an increased curiosity and desire to journey to the Middle East. In February 2003, initially as an observer alongside the Human Shields, he left with a passion to make a difference, to record and photograph the truth for himself. We follow his journey first from Baghdad, then to Amman and the Al-Rweished refugee camp in Jordan, and finally on to the town of Rafah in Gaza close to the Egyptian border, where US peaceworker Rachel Corrie had been killed just weeks previously. On April 11th, unarmed and wearing an internationally recognizable orange peacekeeper jacket, he was shot in the head by an IDF sniper while carrying Palestinian children to safety. He died nine months later in a London hospital. The book follows Toms life and thoughts in the final weeks leading up to the shooting. Motivated by a sense of injustice and striving to remain objective we are drawn into his increasingly serious photographs and words, through extracts from his diary, emails and poems. It is realised through collaboration with the Hurndall family, and follows the 2008 BAFTA-nominated Channel 4 film The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall.