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Program

21 Aug 2018 19:00 - 5 Oct 2018

Exhibition AUGUST 21, 1968

Selection of 20 iconic photographs, screening of documentary Confusion, and an interactive exhibition are capturing the dramatic events that occurred on August 21, 1968 in Czechoslovakia.

 

RSVP
CCNY GALLERY & CINEMA 7-8PM
EXHIBITION OPENING: AUGUST 21, 1968
MOVIE SCREENING: CONFUSION
EXHIBITION IS ON VIEW AUGUST 21 - OCTOBER 5, 2018

EXHIBITION: AUGUST 21, 1968
20 iconic photographs capture the dramatic events of August 21, 1968 in Czechoslovakia. An army of soldiers of five Soviet bloc states invaded the country with heavy military equipment including tanks. The exhibition includes photographs by Vladimír Lammer, Libuše Kyndrová, Dagmar Hochová, Miloň Novotný, Jiří Všetečka, Miroslav Martinovský, Václav Toužimský, Jaromír Čejka, Bohumil Dobrovolský, Jiří Stivín, Gustav Aulehla, and Jan Reich, among others. 

 

Special thanks to Dana Kyndrová.

Special thanks to PhDr. Daniel Povolný, Ph.D.


MOVIE SCREENING: CONFUSION
Confusion presents a collection of secret footage captured by two cameramen of the days and months following the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops. It features unrests in the streets of Prague and the 14th convention of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The footage was filmed throughout 1968 and 1969 and hidden afterward, however, the document was finished by Evald Schorm, and released in 1990.

 


3RD FLOOR 8-9PM
OPENING OF TWO EXHIBITIONS: REMEMBERING ALEXANDER DUBCEK and THE STORY OF AN IMAGE: BARE-CHESTED MAN IN FRONT OF A TANK
MOVIE SCREENING: DUBCEK 70

Photo ©Ladislav Bielik

An opening of two exhibitions, Remembering Alexander Dubcek and The Story of an Image: Bare-Chested Man in Front of a Tank, accompanied by a screening of the documentary film Dubcek 70. In the interview, made one year before his tragic death, the 70-year old Alexander Dubcek reflects on events that affected his personal journey as one of the protagonists of the “Prague Spring.” The exhibition The Story of an Image: Bare-Chested Man in Front of a Tank will feature photographs by Ladislav Bielik of the fateful day in Bratislava, Slovakia. 


Followed by a reception and an oral video history project Where were you on Aug 21, 1968?

In collaboration with the Consulate General of the Slovak Republic in New York, the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York, SVU and BBLA.


An army of soldiers of five Soviet bloc states - the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary and the German Democratic Republic - invaded the country with heavy military equipment including tanks. People were horrified and strolled into the streets to protest the occupants. 

At the beginning of 1968, the so-called rebuilding process began in Czechoslovakia. It was based on the utterly misconceived idea that the regime established and maintained by brutal methods can be democratized and humanized by moderate reforms. If successful, it would probably lead to the loss of the power monopoly of the Communist Party, the re-acquisition of full political sovereignty of Czechoslovakia, and, in its consequence, to the collapse of the Soviet bloc.

However, Moscow has interrupted all hopefully started processes in a harsh and ruthless manner. At the night of August 20, 1968, an army of half-a-million soldiers of five Soviet bloc states - the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary and the German Democratic Republic - invaded Czechoslovakia with heavy military equipment including tanks. People were horrified and strolled into the streets to protest the occupants. Against the well-armed military, they did not have a chance at success by merely protesting with their bare hands. The strongest protests took place in front of the building of the Czechoslovak Radio in Prague. The unarmed citizens prevented free broadcasting literally by their own bodies. The clashes with the occupiers also occurred in many other places throughout the country. The aggressive and ruthless behavior of the invaders resulted in the death of one hundred and thirty-five Czechoslovak citizens. Another five hundred of them were seriously injured in 1968.

The military occupation of Czechoslovakia enabled conservative forces in the Communist Party to stop the democratization of the society, place the situation under their control, and conclude a contract which allowed Soviet troops to have temporary stay in the country. This temporary period lasted another two decades. On the basis of a forced agreement, a so-called Central Group of Soviet troops settled in the territory of Czechoslovakia. It consisted of about seventy-five thousand soldiers disposing heavy machinery and aircraft.

 



Nowhere in New York do the wounds of 1968 feel more fresh than at the hundred-and-twenty-year-old cultural center on East Seventy-third Street known as Bohemian National Hall. There, the Czech Center, part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has put up “August 21, 1968,” an exhibit that painstakingly documents the first twenty-four hours of the invasion. The exhibit, conceived of and mounted by the Czech Center’s programming director, Marie Dvorakova, is focussed on twenty photographs of the invasion that have never previously travelled to the United States. At the opening, on the night of the 21st, the director, Barbara Karpetová, observed with deliberate understatement that her compatriots viewed the Soviet invasion as “one of the most significant moments of our history,” and made it clear that the pain of that period’s failed struggle against authoritarianism is still “topical” for most Czechs.    - The New Yorker


 

Exhibition August 21, 1968 is on view from August 21 to October 5, 2018.

Exhbition August 21, 1968 is accompanied by festival Rehearsal For the Truth honoring Václav Havel on September 25 - September 30, 2018. 

Venue:

321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States

Date

From: 21 Aug 2018 19:00
To: 5 Oct 2018

Organizer:

Czech Centre


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