1970 Leaves Czechoslovakia on a three-month exit visa to photograph gypsies in the West. Does not return after expiration of the visa. Becomes stateless. Granted asylum in England where he resides through 1979.
Begins traveling and photographing gypsies, popular and religious festivals, and everday life in various European countries.
1971 Elliott Erwitt proposes that Koudelka join the photographers’ cooperative Magnum Photos. He becomes an associate member.
He meets Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Delpire and Romeo Martinez, who become close friends.
1974 Becomes a full member of Magnum Photos.
1975 Josef Koudelka, a one-man exhibition organized by John Szarkowski, opens at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Robert Delpire publishes in Paris, Gitans: La fin du voyage. Aperture publishes the American edition with the title Gypsies.
1987 Naturalized in France.
Awarded the Grand Prix National de la Photographie by the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, France.
1988 Two large exhibitions organized by Robert Delpire are presented at the Centre National de la Photographie, Palais de Tokyo, Paris and at the International Center of Photography, New York. These two exhibitions travel throughout the United States and Europe.
Exils is published by Centre National de la Photographie, Paris (published as Exiles by Aperture, New York and by Thames and Hudson, London). This book was granted the 1988 Photographic Book of the Year Award by the Maine Photographic Workshops, Rockport and in 1989 it received the International Center of Photography Publication Award for an Outstanding Photographic Book published in 1988.
Begins photographing with a panoramic camera in the north of France for the Mission Photographique Transmanche, a project to record the changes in the region caused by the construction of the English Channel Tunnel.
1989 Receives the Hugo Erfurth Prize from the city of Leverkusen, West Germany and Agfa-Gevaert AG.
He is unable to return to Czechoslovakia, but, as a holder of a French passport, he is invited with eight other French photographers to visit the Soviet Union. He photographs in Moscow.
His work for the Mission Photographique Transmanche culminates in the publication of his first book of panoramic photographs: Josef Koudelka, Cahier Number 6 in the Mission Photographique Transmanche series. Awarded the Prix Romanes by the gypsy author, Mateo Maximoff.
1990 Returns to visit Prague twenty years after he left the country in exile. Begins photographing in Eastern Europe.
Anna Fárová curates an exhibition in Prague. It is the first time his photographs of the Warsaw Pact armies’ invasion of the city (1968) are published and exhibited in Czechoslovakia.
Begins to photograph one of the most devastated landscapes in Europe, the foothills of the Ore Mountains in northern Bohemia that make up the western portion of the vast region that includes southern Germany and Poland that is known as the “Black Triangle.”.
1991 Received the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award (Centre National de la Photographie & American Express, Paris).
Photographs with a panoramic camera the war-devastated city center of Beirut.