Describing himself as a “historian of the present”, Abbas dedicated himself to documenting the political and social life of societies in conflict. In a career that spanned six decades, he covered wars and revolutions in Biafra, Bangladesh, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa during apartheid. The result of a process described by Abbas as “writing with light”, his images occupy a niche that spans both photojournalism and art. Pictured here, a rare moment of tranquility settles over West Lake in North Vietnam in spite of the hostilities. 1975.