Czech Photo Centre to show photos of 1968

Seldom seen photos by Oldřich Škácha document the says after the invasion

The 50th anniversary of the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops into Czechoslovakia is an opportunity to show some rarely seen images.

The large exhibition hall of the Czech Photo Centre will feature photos by Oldřich Škácha that have been locked up for 20 years in his studio in Prague's Old Town.

The exhibition will run from Aug, 15 to Sept. 16, daily except Mondays.

Škácha passed away in 2014 at the age of 72. He is best known for his photos of Václav Havel and other personalities from culture and politics.

The exhibition photos were curated by photographer Ondřej Němec.

The pictures from the first days of the invasion are complemented by an exhibit with original equipment and photographs of Oldřich Škácha's studio, taken by photographer Petr Šálek.

The invasion by 250,000 troops from the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany and Poland on the night of Aug. 20–21, 1968, brought an end to the Prague Spring social and economic reforms and ushered in two decades of harsh Soviet-dictated policies called Normalization.

The 1990 documentary film Zmatek, directed by Evald Schorm, has been provided by the National Film Archive and will be shown as part of the exhibit.

Škácha captured the arrival of the invading army on Prague streets. During Aug. 21, he met many well-known faces such as Pavel Bobek, Jan Kaplický and Václav Táborský, who protested against the aggression of soldiers.

With the gradual rise of Normalization after the invasion, Škácha lost the opportunity to publish his work. After the Velvet Revolution, he returned and was able to publish his work in mainstream Czech newspapers and magnetizes. He continues to photograph Vaclav Havel even after he ceased to be president.

The small exhibition room of the Czech Photo Centre will present the results of the competition for amateur and professional photographers called Czechoslovakia - Photographs of the Year 68, which Czech Photo co-organized with Czech Radio. This exhibition presents selected images from private archives of Czechs and Slovaks. Overall, about 1,000 photos were submitted to the competition.

The exhibition is organized with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the Václav Havel Library.

The gallery is located 100 meters from Nové Butovice metro stop at Seydlerova 2835/4, Prague 5.

For more information visit www.czechphoto.org.

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