viernes, 1 de febrero de 2008

Aniversario de una foto de Eddie Adams's

La historia viene hoy en el TimesOnLine:

"This morning is the fortieth anniversary of one of the iconic images of the Vietnam War. It was taken on 1 February 1968, with the Tet offensive in its early stages. It pictures General Nguyan Ngoc Loan executing a Vietcong prisoner.

It is, no question about it, a terrible image.

This morning, with its admirable instinct for a story, the Today programme told the tale of Eddie Adams's photograph and the impact it made.

Sadly Adams is dead, so the programme featured a different, but also distinguished, war photographer Philip Jones Griffiths. And Jones Griffiths described his feelings about the photo and his own decision to track down and photograph the executed man's widow.

Jones Griffiths had strong views on the photo and gave them to us.

He dismissed the idea that the executed man had been a killer saying both that the idea that the man had just killed others was "kind of propaganda" and that "he wouldn't have been much of a Vietcong soldier" if he hadn't tried to kill people. He clearly viewed the photo's power as being its revelation of the evil of the war and America's involvement.

These were interesting, legitimate, opinions. But it is a shame that it wasn't mentioned that they were not remotely the views held by Eddie Adams of his own photo.

Here's what Eddie Adams had to say about General Loan:

The guy was a hero.

And - surely an essential point in any proper discussion of the history of the photograph - here's what he had to say in Time magazine about his photograph:

The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world.

People believe them, but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths.

What the photograph didn't say was, 'What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American soldiers?

When Loan died, Adams - who had called him many times to apologise for the damage done to Loan's reputation - sent a bunch of flowers with the inscription:

I'm sorry. There are tears in my eyes.

Adams wished he had never taken the photo, and whether or not he was right about this I think it should have been mentioned this morning, don't you?

Posted by
Daniel Finkelstein

No hay comentarios.: