Philip Jones Griffiths: A Welsh Focus on War and Peace

National Library of Wales

27 June – 12 December 2015

Celebrating the life and work of the great documentary photographer, Philip Jones Griffiths.

Philip Jones Griffiths, Woman was tagged with the designation VNC (Vietnamese civilian), Vietnam, 1967

The welsh photojournalist is best known for his uncompromisingly honest coverage of the Vietnam War. Starting out as a full-time freelance photographer in 1961, he went to cover the conflict in 1966 for the Magnum agency.

Magnum found his images difficult to sell to American magazines, as they concentrated on the suffering of the Vietnamese people and reflected his belief that the war was just a way of continuing the decolonisation of former European possessions.

When he managed to get photographs of Jackie Kennedy holidaying with a male friend in Cambodia, the American media finally picked up his work and the proceeds enabled him to continue his coverage of the war in his own publication: Vietnam Inc.

The book became a hugely influential piece of photojournalism, having a major influence on American perceptions of the war, and standing as one of the most detailed surveys of any conflict.

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