“Race riots“ in Washington, DC, violent protests in Berlin, a national strike in Paris, and the brutal end of the Prague Spring – the year of 1968 was shaped by protest movements and an atmosphere of massive change. On the 50th anniversary of the protests, the Goethe-Institut highlights these historic events with a photo exhibition, offering a view into the movements in these four major cities.
In the US, after the assassination of Martin Luther King in April 1968, the previously pacifistic civil rights movement erupted into violent confrontations throughout the whole country. DC was at the center of the protests with the so-called “race riots” destroying large parts of the inner city and with the Poor People’s March, in which thousands of people marched on the nation’s capital.
At the same time as these events in the US, many people in European countries were expressing their discontent with existing political and social systems. Many young people and student groups in addition to workers’ unions worked together to fight for change and a better future.
The photographs in this exhibition do not only document the protests in these different countries, but also show the parallels of these movements and their calls for more freedom and democracy within these different societies. Additionally, the medium of photography is examined to understand its role in documenting such events in the past and the strong parallels to the protests of today’s era.
The exhibit is presented in cooperation with the Alliance Française in Washington, DC.
This exhibition is part of the event series 1968: A Time of Uproar in Europe and the US