Czech photographer Josef Koudelka could be said to have spent his life as an Exile, he abandoned his home in 1968 during the communist era of Eastern Europ and heading to Great Britain.
Exiles is not, exactly, the story of his journey but the images within reflect the progress made by a spirit which stands apart from the things it witnesses.
Koudelka tells a story of what it’s like to be on the outside. What it feels like to love from afar, to feel disconnected all the time.
This is, perhaps, a story of the 20th century and the huge amounts of human upheaval on a unprecendented scale compared to any other period in human history.
Why We Love Exiles
We loved the original version of Exiles, then they republished it with an extra 10 images and we couldn’t have been happier if we tried.
We also liked the addition of Robert Delpire’s commentary which helps provide an alternative narrative to the journey that takes place visually.
Final Thoughts On Exiles
Not every photo essay needs to be a happy one and we think that Exiles is so powerful and so honest that it ought to be on every photographer’s bookshelves, even if it’s not the easiest of subject matter to digest.