"This book, 'Gypsies', is a revised and enlarged version of the original maquette for Josef KOUDELKA’s 'Cikáni' (Czech for Gypsies) prepared by KOUDELKA himself and graphic designer Milan Kopřiva in 1968, and intended for publication in Prague in 1970.
Josef KOUDELKA left Czechoslovakia in 1970 after extensively documenting the Russian invasion of Prague in August 1968.
The book 'Gypsies' was never published in that original form.
This extended version consists of 109 photographs taken between 1962 and 1971 in what was, at the time, Czechoslovakia (Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia), Romania, Hungary, France, and Spain. The word Gypsies (the common name for this group when the photographs were taken between 1962 and 1971, before the current term Roma was established) is used as the book title.
Sociologist Will Guy, author of the text that accompanied the first publication of Gypsies, has contributed an updated essay, tracing the migration of the Roma from their original homeland in northern India, to their current status—one that continues to be contested internationally." (publisher's note, © )
"Joseph KOUDELKA's photographs aim at a visul distillation of a pattern of human values: a pattern that involves theater, large gesture, brave style, precious camarderie and bitter loneliness.
The pattern and texture of his pictures form the silent equivalent of an epic drama. KOUDEKA's pictures seem to concern themselves with prototypical rituals, and a theater of ancient and unchangeable fables. Their motive is perhaps not psychological but religious.
Perhaps they describe not the small and cherished differences that distinguish each of us from all others, but the prevailing circumstance that encloses us." (© John Szarkowski, Director,Department of PhotographyThe Museum of Modern Art)
"Rarely has a body of work been so deserving of two completely different editions.” (Time) --- "“Mr. Koudelka's stark images depict the poverty and clannishness of Gypsy life, but unlike many documentary photographers, he does not present their situation as a social problem that can somehow be fixed. Instead, he shows the Gypsies as perpetual outsiders, and their life as a primal mix of glee and wonder, sorrow and mystery.” (The New York Times) ---
“Gives a palpable sense of a people apart, unto themselves, dislocated from contemporary society and even time.” (Huffington Post) --- “Koudelka brings to life the even older world of the Roma gypsies that he encountered in his travels in the late 1960s and early 1970s in images that resonate with mystery and ritual, romance and hardship.” (The Guardian)
"Die hier angebotene Ausgabe des Fotobuch-Klassikers 'Gypsies' ist ein gebrauchtes Exemplar, das von Robert Delpire gestaltetet wurde.
Diese Ausgabe entsprach inhaltlich Josef KOUDELKAs aus 61 Aufnahmen bestehenden Original-Maquette, die zwischen 1962 und 1968 entstand.
Später wurde die Ausgabe auf 109 Aufnahmen aus den Jahren 1961 bis 1971 erweitert." (© Richard G. SPORLEDER)