Despite these criticisms, it would be wrong to dismiss it out of hand, and the visitors’ book was testament to that. There were many respectful comments acknowledging the acute relevance of the work by those who weren’t previously aware of the devastating effects of the defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, or its continuing effects three generations later.
It is always salutary to look at Jones Griffiths’s photographs. After all, he devoted his life to telling the stories of a country at war and at peace. He captures the gentle and devoted love of parents caring for their children, whose tiny bodies have been ravaged and genetically altered in utero by the toxic chemicals that infiltrated the bodies of thousands who came into contact with it. He photographed double-headed foetuses without making them look like a freakshow. Looking at children born – still being born – without limbs, without retina, without eyes, you realise that in army speak, this is what is meant by “collateral damage”.