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Photo: Josef Koudelka
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Josef Koudelka’s „Invasion Prague 68“ premiering in Brussels

Within the framework of the 50th anniversary of Prague Spring, Belgian premiere of Josef Koudelka’s exhibition “Invasion Prague 68” will take place in the Botanique gallery. The exhibition is part of “Summer of Photography” biennial and will be inaugurated by the author himself. The event is organized by the Embassy of the Czech Republic do the Kingdom of Belgium, Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the EU, and Czech Centre Brussels.

169 photos by Josef Koudelka documenting Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in the summer of 1968 will be presented from 14 June to 8 August 2018 in Botanique. Josef Koudelka took the pictures in the days following immediately after the invasion that brutally ended Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia. The pictures were smuggled out of the country and published internationally to a wide acclaim. The author had to remain anonymous not to pose threat to his family, and eventually had to leave his homeland.

Josef Koudelka (*1938, Moravia) was a young theatre photographer, and “Invasion Prague 68” was his first attempt to document an event of such magnitude. Nevertheless, the series became a classic of its genre. After Koudelka left Czechoslovakia, he lived in London and Paris, where he joined the Magnum Photos agency in 1971. The series “Invasion Prague 68” was awarded Robert Capa’s Golden Medal. Among Koudelka’s most celebrated projects belong also Gypsies (1975) and Exiles (1988). Koudelka exhibited around the world, including MoMA New York, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, etc. He remains one of the most celebrated photographers for his unique esthetics.

The exhibition “Invasion Prague 68” is a part of the Czech Centre Brussel’s program commemorating Prague Spring and following events. The program includes a screening of Czech New Wave films in Brussels’ CINEMATEK, several debates with the witnesses of the events, and an exhibition in the European Parliament.