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Josef Koudelka at the Czech Center Tel Aviv

Josef Koudelka - one of the world's leading photographers - visited the Czech Centre Tel Aviv on February 20, 2012.

Josef Koudelka was born in 1938 in Boskovice, Moravia. He began photographing his family and the surroundings with a 6 x 6 Bakelite camera.

He began taking commissions from theatre magazines, and regularly photographed stage productions at Prague's Theatre Behind the Gate on a Rolleiflex camera. In 1967, Koudelka decided to give up his career in engineering for full-time work as a photographer.

He had returned from a project photographing gypsies in Romania just two days before the Soviet invasion, in August 1968. He witnessed and recorded the military forces of the Warsaw Pact as they invaded Prague and crushed the Czech reforms. Koudelka's negatives were smuggled out of Prague into the hands of the Magnum agency, and published anonymously in The Sunday Times Magazine under the initials P. P. (Prague Photographer) for fear of reprisal to him and his family.

His pictures of the events became dramatic international symbols. In 1969 the "anonymous Czech photographer" was awarded the Overseas Press Club's Robert Capa Gold Medal for photographs requiring exceptional courage.

In Israel, Koudelka has participated in an international project that includes works of 12 world known photographs.


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