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News Release

Dark Odyssey: Philip Jones Griffiths

Dark Odyssey: Philip Jones Griffiths brings together 70 photographs representing four decades of work by one of the century's most prolific and dedicated photojournalists. During his distinguished career, Philip Jones Griffiths has photographed in more than 140 countries on 5 continents, depicting the tragedies of war, famine, and civil unrest in, among other countries, Algeria, Rhodesia, Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Kuwait, and Bosnia.

Born in Rhuddlan, Wales, in 1936, Griffiths initially studied pharmacy. After photographing part time, he joined the staff of the London Observer. Two years later, he left the security of his newspaper job to pursue a career as a freelance photojournalist. His first photographs as a correspondent were taken during the Algerian War in 1962, where he lived with soldiers in the mountains for two months. He covered the Vietnam war for Life magazine beginning in 1996 and published his first book, Vietnam, Inc., in 1971. In 1973, he photographed the Yom Kippur War for Newsweek. Other assignments have included coverage of the US invasion of Grenada for Life, a stay with the Karen Rebels in Burma; and a story about victims of drought in India. Griffiths currently resides in Manhattan and continues to travel extensively on assignment. An unforgettable body of images, Dark Odyssey powerfully communicates forces that motivate nations and individuals. Implicit in Griffiths' work is his humanistic world view and his belief that lasting change cannot be effected without an appreciation of the larger context in which wars take place. He argues dramatically and convincingly against the inevitability of war, presenting a point of view that transcends mere graphic depiction of suffering and death. As William Messer has written, "The real horror of war is found not so much in individual tragedies of maimed and murdered bodies (although it is visible there as well) but also in the insanity that compels it."

The Payne Gallery is located in the Priscilla Payne Hurd Center for Music and Art on the Church Street Campus of Moravian College at thecorner of Main and Church Streets in downtown Bethlehem The Gallery is open to the public free of charge daily except Monday 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For further information, call (610) 861-1680 weekdays or (610) 861-1667 weekends.