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Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Philip Jones Griffiths

"The world that I grew up in will be, from today, a poorer place. It is with great sadness I have to write that Philip - a monumental, irrepressible force in photography and in life - and a courageous fighter against the cancer that finally defeated him - passed away early this morning... " Continue reading here.

Griffiths' Vietnam Inc. remains to my mind the great book of war photography - a sarcastic ransacking of the hypocrisy and lies that accompanied the Vietnam War, and one which can still serve as a guide to the rationalisations and deceit that forms the foundation for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I interviewed Griffiths about his follow up to Vietnam Inc., Agent Orange, a few years back - the text follows below.

Agent Orange

Welsh photographer Philip Jones Griffiths first heard about the dangers of Agent Orange (the highly toxic herbicide used as a defoliant during the Vietnam War) in Saigon in 1967. "During the war there were these rumours that babies were being born without eyes and it became a quest to find them," says Griffiths. "I visited as many catholic orphanages as I could, but I was barred entry from most of them and I became convinced that the Americans had put the word out - don't let any press in."

Continue reading here.


Stan B. said...

Thank you, for that- there's also a good interview in the Spring issue of Aperture...


colin pantall said...

Cheers Stan - I still can't get over how much Vietnam Inc. parallels some of the information elements of the Iraq War.