It’s rare to get explicit permission to look in someone’s diary. These sacred texts are for raw honesty, personal reflection, and sometimes, hopeless rants. You could easily argue that just the raw, unfiltered honesty of a diary makes it one of the valid art forms in existence.
Czech-French photographer Josef Koudelka clearly agrees, and his been diligent about keeping journals and diaries throughout his life. While he often contemplated destroying them, he ultimately decided to go in a completely opposite direction. Last fall, Koudelka published Deníky (Diary), a selection of diary entries written throughout his 51 years of life. With the editorial help of Aleš Najbrt, Andrea Vacovská, and Jiří Veselka, Koudelka created a delicate balance between intimate art and high-level design.
Josef Koudelka considered destroying his diaries many times but eventually initiated their reading in 2019 and agreed to publish their selection. The texts reflect his fifty-one-year phase of life connected with travel and photography after he left Czechoslovakia in 1969. This is Koudelka’s first book which is intended primarily for reading.