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LADISLAV BIELIK 50 YEARS LATER…

Muž s odhalenou hruďou pred okupačným tankom (The Bare-chested Man in front of the Occupiers’ Tank) – the photograph by Ladislav Bielik from the first day of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops on August 21, 1968, circulated across the globe. It became an iconic image bringing a deep and permanent legacy about the threat of injustice and violence committed by those in power.

This photograph and Bielik’s other 186 shots of these events still carry the power of utterance, fifty years later. They are not only a visual reminder of this dramatic period in our history, or a means to stir up emotions. For us they represent a deeper and permanent meaning, the legacy of a lived experience which strengthens and helps to enhance one’s sensitivity and response to any threat to freedom and independence.

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