27 Mar. 2008

Photos From Vietnam


John Pilger remembers Philip Jones Griffiths and his war photos:
My favourite was of a large GI in a crowd of busy, opaque Vietnamese faces including a young woman photographed in the act of picking his pocket artfully, elegantly, little finger extended. This was the picture for which he had waited days on the balcony at the Royale. Another was Catch-22 in a single frame – spruce US officers peering at IBM computer printouts which "proved" they were winning the war they were demonstrably losing. It might have been Iraq.

No photographer produced such finely subversive work, knowing that truth in war is always subversive. Also in my brown envelope was the Goya-like picture of a captured NLF (Vietcong) soldier, prostrate, wounded and surrounded in the darkness, yet undefeated in his humanity in a manner his captors did not understand. Philip did.