A Photographers Paradise: Documenting A Turbulent America
Photojournalist Jean-Pierre Laffont was recently awarded the French Legion of Honor for his brilliant documentary work, which has contributed to our understanding of major events of the 20th century.
When JP Laffont left Paris he was the assisting a famous photographer who photographed movie stars but his dream was to be was to be a photojournalist and it was the United States that fascinated him. So following his dream he arrived in the US in 1964 and for three decades began to document a nation that was going through a turbulent adolescence.
In the 1960’s New York was both dirty and dangerous, it saw the assassinations of JFK and his younger brother Bobby and the legendary Martin Luther King.
By the 1970’s the ‘Great Experiment’ that was the USA seemed to be on the brink of disintegration with the Vietnam War dividing the country and the Pentagon Papers revealing a decade of lies from its government regarding the war.
The American people no longer trusted their Government.By the 80’s Americans were ready for a new beginning, Baby Boomers were growing up and wanted it all, President Reagan declared that ‘an America that would be a shining city on a hill’.
Hosted by Aidan Sullivan, this interview promises a poignant exploration of history through the lens of a master storyteller. It’s an unmissable encounter with a living legend who has not only documented major events but has played a pivotal role in shaping our understanding of the 20th century. Join us for an evening that will inspire, enlighten, and leave you with a profound appreciation for the power of photojournalism to capture the essence of a nation in flux.
- Duration: 50 min
Born in Algeria and raised in Morocco, Jean-Pierre Laffont is a distinguished French photographer. A humanitarian recognized for his actions during the Algerian War, he co-founded Gamma USA and Sygma Photo News agencies. Laffont extensively covered major global events, capturing iconic moments from the Vietnam War to civil rights movements. His remarkable career earned him prestigious awards, including the Overseas Press Club of America’s Madeline Dane Ross Award. Knighted in the National French Order of Arts and Letters, Laffont resides in New York with his wife Eliane.