In 1970, after having reported on the Soviet invasion, Josef Koudelka renounced his Czech citizenship and became a stateless person, thus beginning a long journey of exile. Crossing European borders, as a free man, he photographed what he wished: places, objects, people. These images of life radiate a stunningly profound strength. A nomad and a visionary, Koudelka portrays a world in which the tragic invades everyday life.
The selection of images proposed by Exiles takes us on a journey that tells us as much about being as about the notion of elsewhere. They seem particularly acute at present, when Europe is being shaken by so many crises.
This book was first published in 1988. A new, revised and enlarged edition appeared in 2015.
'During that period, [Josef] accumulated images whose only common theme seems to be the artist’s desire to satisfy a sort of lust to see, to see a reality he transcends.' Robert Delpire