Make Love Not War or We’ll Kill You; Prague Spring 1968 in Cartoons

30 Jul 2018 – 2 Sep 2018

Vitrínka | Czech Centre London

England, United Kingdom


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  • Notting Hill Gate

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Fifty years since the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia quashed the Prague Spring we look at how cartoonists in the Czech and British press interpreted the politics of the time through humour.


Armed with a stack of original 1968 satirical cartoon drawings under his arm, a collector walked through the Czech Centre London door and the idea for an exhibition was born. Fifty years ago this summer as soviet tanks supported by Warsaw pact countries rolled into Prague and crushed a heady few months of emerging political freedoms in what is known as the Prague Spring, the world looked on and leading political cartoonists on both sides of the Iron Curtain drew.

On loan from private collections, we invite you to take a peek  at how both British and Czech leading illustrators saw the politics of the time through cartoon humour; to see how both perception of events and graphic design styles differed on opposing  sides of the Iron Curtain.

The exhibition takes its name from a caricature by John Jensen which first appeared in The Sunday Telegraph and the exhibition includes works by other leading British cartoonists including Nicholas Garland, Leslie Gilbert Illingworth, Kenneth Mahood, Michael Cummings, David Myers, Jon Jones, Stanley Frankin and Emmwood (John Musgrave-Jones) all published in leading UK newspapers between March and October of 1968.

Czech cartoons are by firm favourites Jiří Jirásek, Jaroslav Malák and Miroslav Liďák who was himself sentenced to a year in prison for a public display of cartoon rebellion.

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