Since 1991, Josef Koudelka embarked on a long and patient journey leading him through all
20 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and more than 200 Greek and Roman
archaeological sites. His journey led him five times to Turkey from 2006 to 2014 that he
considers as one of the most interesting country among all the ones he visited.
Before Koudelka, who will present a selection of his Turkish archaeological landscape
pictures through a selection of 145 photos shown for the first time in the FotoIstanbul festival,
nobody had attempted to make such a comprehensive photographic record of these historical
vestiges with so much persistence
Josef Koudelka was born in Moravia in 1938. He 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
He left Czechoslovakia to seek political asylum in 1970 and shortly thereafter joined the
Magnum photo agency. After sixteen years of being stateless he has become a
naturalized French citizen.
In 1975, “Gypsies” was published, the first of more than a dozen books which include
“Exiles (1988)”, “Chaos (1999)”, “Invasion 68: Prague (2008)” and “Wall (2013)”.
Koudelka, who has won major awards such as the Prix Nadar (1978), Grand Prix
National de la Photographie (1989), Grand Prix Cartier-Bresson (1991) and the
Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography (1992); was named Officier
de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture, in 2002.
Significant exhibitions of his work have been held at the Museum of Modern Art and the
International Center of Photography, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; J. Paul
Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Hayward Gallery, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam;
and Palais de Tokyo, Paris.