Josef Koudelka began his career as an aeronautical engineer, turning full-time to photography in the late 1960s. In 1968, Koudelka photographed the Soviet invasion of Prague, publishing his photographs under the initials P. P. (Prague Photographer). In 1969, he was anonymously awarded the Overseas Press Club’s Robert Capa Gold Medal for the photographs.
“Exiles” comprises of photographs mostly taken during Koudelka’s years of wandering through Europe and the United States since leaving his native Czechoslovakia. The sense of mystery that fills these works speak of passion and reserve, of Koudelka’s ‘rage to see’. The brilliant accompanying essay by Robert Delpire invokes the soul of man in search of a spiritual homeland; it speaks with a remarkable and unforgettable dignity.
“Gypsies” comprises of 109 photographs taken between 1962 and 1971 in what was Czechoslovakia (Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia), Romania, Hungary, France and Spain, it is a unique record of a vanished world. The Gypsies in these images were photographed during the 1960s, mostly in a state that no longer exists, and ruled by a regime that disintegrated in 1989. Will Guy, author of the text that accompanied the first publication of Gypsies, contributes an entirely new essay tracing the migration of the Roma from their original homeland in northern India, to their current status – one that continues to be contested internationally.