20 March 2008

Philip Jones Griffiths (1936-2008)

"There can be no better way to spend one's three-score-
years-and-10 than as a photojournalist. The little box
worn around the neck is the ultimate passport that affords
every possible experience, from the "morning with paupers,
evening with princes" scenario to a month in an Aids ward.
If you want to be able to check out the world for yourself,
get a camera." - Philip Jones Griffiths (2007)

Philip Jones Griffiths. Photograph © Graham Harrison

Photographer Philip Jones Griffiths has died. Here is the notice from Magnum and the obituary from The New York Times is here. You can find a Guardian column that Jones Griffiths wrote this past fall here.
Updated later: You can find a slideshow of Jones Griffiths's work here at Aperture. There also is a story on Jones Griffiths from npr here and there is a recent interview with him here in which he offers this remark about the realities of social and political life and the difficulties of photographing them:

"While approaching subjects for the purpose of confirming
preconceptions gains nothing, the fact remains that over
time patterns do emerge.

Simply put, they are the "haves" exploiting the "have-nots."
Greed manifests itself as the great motivator in world events.
Capturing the excesses is never easy, and revealing the
underlying machinations even less so."

All that seems just about right to me. Finally, there is a longish appreciation of Jones Griffiths here at Photo Histories.



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