Vietnam Inc.

Posted in graduate school by Kevin Vu on March 28, 2007

vietnam Inc.

© Philip Jones Griffiths

I went to a talk by Philip Jones Griffiths, one of the most influential photographers of our time, at the Royal Geographic Society yesterday. He went through and discussed photographs from his 3 monographs: Vietnam Inc.; Agent Orange; and Vietnam at Peace. Having been born in Vietnam and being back there recently helped me to really comprehend what he was talking about, though I could never fully fathom everything that went on during the Vietnam war, nor its effects on the people. His discussion helped me to understand my heritage a little more and it reinforced why I really want to be a photojournalist. I still have this ideal of changing the world and I want to do it through photographs. I did have a problem with one of his statements though. He talked about how literate the United States used to be and how all that has changed. He pretty much called all Americans morons. I think that was a bit uncalled for. I would agree that America has a large amount of morons, look at our government. But that does not mean that ALL Americans are dimwitted. Our education and research institutions still out-pace most countries. And we have an ongoing debate, with an ever increasing part of the population agreeing, about the necessity to stabilize and withdraw from Iraq. I feel that P.J. Griffiths shouldn’t narrow his name calling to just Americans. Cause I’ve done a decent amount of traveling, and, I have to say, that the world can be full of morons.


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