The Original Think Magazine (Published since 1996)

1968 Magnum Throughout the World by E.J. Hobsbawm

Where were you in '68?

 

1968 photo exhibitionNo doubt some of our devoted readers were floating aimlessly in eggland, waiting for their significant other to bring them in to existence.

For others, you are either old enough to remember the tumultuous global events that took place that year or, like me, have faint recollections from televised images: real soldiers running through jungles; people wearing funny hats jumping up and down at presidential conventions; and semi-nude guys who, for some reason, had hair longer than my own.

Whether you were on the planet or not, you should definitely take the effort to get this book, I had the chance to see the photography exhibit on display at the Prague Castle: 'Magnum, svet v roce 1968'.

Comprised of photographs from the Magnum Agency, a photographers consortium, the book takes you on a walk through world political events such as the Vietnam War protests, the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, civil unrest in Cuba and Biafra, the Prague Spring, to the surreal photo of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogir, hippiedom and free love.

Some of the works may bring a smile as in Dennis Stock's photograph of a hippie-owned gas station in California, bedecked in peace signs, flowers, and tye-dye images. Others may bring a tear as in the graphic photo of a starving child in Biafra, taken by Don McCullin.

Some of the more disturbing images are those of American GI's: Philip Jones-Griffiths' photo of an American soldier taking aim from inside a wrecked home - a child's naked doll lies underneath his chair; Don McCullin's close-up of a shell-shocked soldier.

On a local take, there are many photographs which record Prague Spring, most of which were taken by Josef Koudelka. Images of a packed Vaclavske namesti for the May Day Parade to images of the same crowds, only this time they are there to push back the newly arrived Russian tanks.

These works and others are published in a book titled 1968 Magnum Throughout the World which has won an award for Best Photography Book of 1998, and can be purchased from Amazon via the link above.

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