This month we have sadly lost two remarkable photojournalists who each had dedicated his life to crying out against human injustice and senseless war.
Philip Jones Griffith’s books, Vietnam Inc. and Agent Orange, exposed the tragedies of the Vietnam War, and acted as catalysts to heighten public opposition to the war and awareness of the far-reaching suffering inflicted on the Vietnamese people through the use of the chemical Agent Orange. His career was long, and always focused on speaking out against what he believed to be wrong. He died on March 19, 2008, at the age of 72.
Photo by PhilipJones Griffith
Henri Cartier-Bresson, a fellow Magnum photographer said:
“Not since Goya has anyone portrayed war like Philip Jones Griffith.”
There are two excellent short videos about him and his work which you can view online:
A 7-minute excerpt from “50 Years on the Frontlines: Philip Jones Grifith Photographs” can be viewed by PC or Mac.
And an 11-minute video “Agent Orange: The Legacy of War”, for PC or Mac.
The Magnum site has a good biography and a slideshow of his work. And Aperture has a good slideshow and interview online, as well.
A 1974 photo of shells being fired at a village northwest of Phnom Penh.
Photo: Dith Pran/The New York Times
Dith Pran, a Cambodian photojournalist who had teamed up with New York Times correspondent Sydney H. Schanberg in the 1970s to record some of the most heart-wrenching photos from Cambodia, was later captured and tortured by the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979. After those nightmarish years, he escaped, and was re-united with his family in New York, where he continued to work as a photojournalist and to speak out for human rights. His story was made into an award-winning movie, “The Killing Fields”, in 1984. He died on Sunday March 30 at age 65.
A video interview made by the New York Times just weeks before his death can be seen online.