Philip Jones Griffiths

Philip Jones Griffiths

1936 - 2008

Philip Jones Griffiths visited 120 countries in the course of his life. His work as a photojournalist took him to conflict regions such as North and Central Africa, Israel, Cambodia and Iraq. He is best known for his photo book “Vietnam Inc.”, an account of the Vietnam War. Filled with 250 photographs accompanied by his own texts and captions, the book is a testimony to the times. Philip Jones Griffiths spent five years, from 1966 to 1971, in the jungle working on his book with the aim to “lay bare the truth about the war”. He took pictures of the combat and its consequences: soldiers on both sides, fighting, violence and destruction, the victims of war, suffering and mourning. But “Vietnam Inc.” does not just document the war itself; it also shows everyday life in times of war, normality in an abnormal situation. Some pictures show surprisingly harmonious scenes between American soldiers and the local people, especially children.

It was difficult for him to keep his emotions in check, he says. He tried to channel his feelings into his photographs: “I was angry, but my anger had to trigger the camera’s release. I never wanted to take photos that make people turn away and close the book. The pornography of violence is not my thing,” said Philip Jones Griffiths looking back