One of the greatest modern-day photojournalists talks about his career, his new book, Vietnam At Peace, and the country he has been photographing for 40 years. Exclusive profile by Peter Howe.
A s he stepped on to Vietnamese soil for the first time in 1966, Philip Jones Griffiths was reminded of his roots in a small village in rural Wales. It wasn't the the jungles and rice paddies that were familiar to him; rather, it was the Vietnamese themselves. In them, he saw the Welsh neighbors of his childhood-resourceful, observant people living in a network of small, tight communities where everyone knew everything that was going on. Vietnam's climate, so dissimilar to the damp, Celtic land of his youth, also had an immediate appeal for him. He claims to have no hairs on the back of his legs, the result of spending the cold Welsh winters in short trousers too close to his home's inadequate coal fire. Vietnam's warm, moist tropical air seduced him into a love that remains to this day.