MIAMI, FL.- The Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Miami, Florida is the third stop on the tour for "Invasion 68: Prague", an exhibition and accompanying book presenting legendary Magnum photographer Josef Koudelkas remarkable work documenting the 1968 Soviet invasion of Prague. The show in Miami follows a successful kick off at Aperture Gallery in New York in the fall of 2008, followed by stops at the American University Museum, Katzen Arts Center, in Washington, D.C., and Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco in Mexico City.
The Freedom Tower is a particularly fitting venue for the exhibition. The National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College is a 1925 building which was the original home of the Miami News and the former Cuban Refugee Center, welcoming hundreds of thousands of Cubans to Americas shores. Since being donated to Miami Dade College in 2006, the Freedom Tower has served as an important cultural and educational center for the entire community. Now a central venue for MDC's cultural programming, the Freedom Tower has hosted numerous major art exhibitions, including showcasing the works of masters DaVinci, Dali, and Goya.
In 1968, Koudelka was a young photographer chronicling the theater, and the lives of gypsies, but he had never photographed a news event. That all changed on the night of August 21, when Warsaw Pact tanks invaded the city of Prague, ending the short-lived political freedom in Czechoslovakia that came to be known as the Prague Spring. In the midst of the turmoil of the Soviet-led invasion, Koudelka took to the streets to document this critical moment. These powerful photographs anonymously reached Magnum Photos in New York and earned
the Robert Capa award.
This exhibition, coproduced with Magnum Photos, features large-scale prints with compelling texts by Czech historians. Both images and texts are taken from Koudelkas latest stunning Aperture monograph of the same name, which includes 250 photographs chosen by the artist from his archive.
Josef Koudelka (born in Moravia, Czech Republic, 1938) is the recipient of the Prix Nadar, Grand Prix National de la Photographie, Grand Prix Cartier-Bresson, and Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. Major exhibitions of his work have been held at the Museum of Modern Art and the International Center of Photography, New York; Hayward Gallery, London; Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, Amsterdam; and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. In 2007, Aperture published his bestselling self-titled monograph. He is a member of Magnum Photos.