6 September 2012

Come As You Are

Slovakia, 1963

Slovakia, 1963

Slovakia, 1963

Slovakia, 1966

Moravia, 1966

Slovakia, 1966

Slovakia, 1966

Slovakia, 1967

Slovakia, 1967

Romania, 1968

Photography by Josef Koudelka
Gitans: La Fin Du Voyage (1975)
(images via Time)

In 1968 Josef Koudelka returned home from Romania, where he had been photographing Roma peoples, to Moravia (part of the modern day Czech Republic) two days before it was invaded by the Soviet Union. His photographs of the ensuing destruction were smuggled out of the country and published anonymously, for fear of reprisals, in The Sunday Times Magazine. He finally fled to England in 1970, however by 1971 he left with little else but his camera to document life across Europe. He has since returned a number of times to exploring the Roma communities, scattered as they are across Europe and the rest of the world. His photographs of these communities are unapologetic in their approach - there is no problem presented that is to be solved, no conscious political or social message, there is simply life. An intimate moment, an intimate movement, caught in flight. A story to be seen, a story to be told, a story never-ending.


"What I have longed to create, what I have believed in, what I have dedicated my life to is that formless something floating in the mist. That mysterious something can be intuited only through the miraculous sensibilities with which humans have been endowed. It is pre-lingual, it can only be labeled an intangible asset.

Such intangible assets exist for but an instant. They emerge in one moment only to dissipate in the next, they are possible only in the movements of a moment, only in a space that is raw and alive.

It is meaningless to construct something and place it as an ornament. Things must be alive, they must be vibrant and in motion."

Yohji Yamamoto, My Dear Bomb, (Ludion, 2010)

Yohji Yamamoto Pour Homme
"Gypsy" Collection - modeled by Roma men
Autumn/Winter 1999
(images via FirstView)



  1. Wow,theme is "Gypsy".I like he used Roma men as model. Looks like very ordinary men who are hunging out in downtown bar.I enjoyed they wore long skirt on. And I noticed they were wearing trouser under the skirt. I want to wear this kind of long wool skirt in this autumn!

    I impressed to read quote from Yohji's "My Dear Bomb".I have finished to read this book recently. I felt the beauty of the Japanese people are thinking from his fashion philosophy .

    Koudelka was good at catch the moment of people's life.

  2. Syeddd, I've been so terrible about reading blogs (and, er, updating my own), and I've missed yours soo much! You're brilliant. I love your little comments so much, always. How's the health these days? Yohji Yamamoto will ALWAYZ make me think of you <3

  3. Hey!
    I Love your blog! Following you via GFC, follow me back?



  4. those photos are beautiful in every sense of the word - so intimate. & I love how you've compared them to Yohji Yamamoto's collection. I love reading your blog, it always makes me stop & think, and you never cease to inspire me :)

    & to answer your question, I think we're going to start off with simple line designs after a fuck ton of practice on fake skin & fruit(!!!) but designing tats for each other in the future is an awesome idea. I like the fact our tattoos are going to be a little amateur and wonky - they'll mean so much more than any other tattoo.

    HANNAH †

  5. The 60s is one of my favourite eras and I've never thought to think how life was like in other countries. This look into 60s Slovakia is really interesting and eye -opening. The b&w photos are awesome. I love the direct link to Yoji Yamamoto too - Yoji is awesome.

    Oh and no - it's not weird to never have been to a festival! I would probably never have gone to my first few festivals if my friends hadn't convinced me...glad to be back home for my home comforts though!

  6. Hey! I Love your blog! Following you via GFC, follow me back? Love, Devina www.guiltybytes.com

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