Josef Koudelka - Invasion Prague 68

Invasion 68

It is the Prague Spring. A thaw has come after the long winter of Soviet domination. Dubcek, the Czechoslovakian leader, promises change and hope is in the air. On 21st August 1968 that hope is shattered. Soviet forces invade and fear returns to the streets of Prague.

Josef Koudelka, a Prague photographer, risks his life to capture the invasion in a set of black and white photographs. The photographs are later smuggled out of Czechoslovakia and sent to Elliott Erwitt a Magnum photographer in New York. He helps to get them published and they are credited only to a Prague Photographer in order to protect Koudelka and his family from Soviet reprisals. It would be sixteen years before Koudelka could publicly take credit for the photographs. Josef Koudelka managed to leave Czechoslovakia in 1970 and joined the photographic agency Magnum a short time later.

Invasion 68

Author - Josef Koudelka
ISBN - 159711068X
Publisher - Published in 2008 by Aperture.
Book Availability - Amazon (UK) - Amazon (US) - BookFinder

Related Material

Further information about Josef Koudelka is available from the following sources.

  • “Permanent Traveller” Koudelka returns to Prague with major exhibition Radio Prague (22 March 2018)
  • Josef Koudelka: The 1968 Prague Invasion Magnum Photos
  • A slide show of some of the Invasion Prague 68 photos can be seen on the New York Times website.
  • When Prague Spring Gave Way to Winter by Philip Gefter, New York Times (12 Sep 2008)
  • 40 years on: the exile comes home to Prague by Sean O'Hagan, The Observer (UK), (24 Aug 2008)
  • Everything Unbelievable Was Possible: Koudelka's Prague, 1968 by Kate Taylor, New York Sun, (21 Aug 2008)
  • In the thick of it by Geoff Dyer, The Guardian (UK), (18 Nov 2006)
  • A Vagabond Who Sees the World Starkly by Vicki Goldberg, New York Times (18 Aug 2002)

This page was added on 26 October 2008. Updated on 03 December 2018.