Exhibition / 1 May – 31 May 2017

1968: The Fire of Ideas & Taking Liberties

Marcelo Brodsky, John 'Hoppy' Hopkins

1968: The Fire of Ideas & Taking Liberties
Committee of 100” by John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins, © 1963 ESTATE OF J V L HOPKINS
1968: The Fire of Ideas & Taking Liberties
© Marcelo Brodsky

John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins | Taking Liberties

Between 1960 and 1966 John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins captured the vibrancy of discontent and the emerging counter-culture in Britain, which was expressed through activism, poetic expression and art. This exhibition for Diffusion brings together a selection of images never seen before from the photographers archive alongside others included in the very few public exhibitions of his work to date. Captured here is the historic poetry convention at The Albert Hall in 1965, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King’s first visits to London, Committee of 100 and CND marches, and early anti-racist and pro-Civil Rights demonstrations which illustrate the power of popular protest.

Also on display in the exhibition are materials relating to his involvement in various counter-cultural manifestations such as International Times, and his ‘prison letters’ from 1967 when he was unjustly jailed for cannabis possession. Though the suspected real reason for this was his influential anti-establishment position that was gaining ground in the projects he was involved in.


Marcelo Brodsky | 1968 – the fire of ideas

Marcelo Brodsky is an Argentine artist and human rights activist, working with images and documents of specific events to investigate broader social, political and historical issues. In 1968 – the Fire of Ideas Brodsky features archival images of student and worker demonstrations around the world, carefully annotated by hand in order to deconstruct what lay behind worldwide social turbulence in the late 1960s. Images of anti-Vietnam war demonstrations in London and Tokyo sit alongside protests in Bogota, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico, Prague and San Paolo against military regimes and oppressive government structures. For decades, Brodsky owned and directed a photo agency with offices throughout Latin America. His sophisticated understanding of picture editing, of how they are sequenced changes the way audiences read images, enables him to use text and graphical devices in association with each image to shift the viewer’s perspective and to reveal new layers of meaning.


These exhibitions are part of Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography 2017, taking place throughout May across some 20 venues. To find out more about the festival click here.

About Artists

Portrait of Marcelo Brodsky

Marcelo Brodsky

Marcelo Brodsky (1954) lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina. An artist and political activist, Brodsky’s work is situated on the border between installation, performance, photography, monument and memorial. His emblematic work Buena Memoria (1996), has been shown more than 150 times in public spaces as well as museums and public spaces around the world. It narrates the story of his generation affected by the dictatorships in Argentina, and the holes left in it with the disappearances of friends and classmates.

 Brodsky´s solo shows and books include Nexo, Memory under Construction, and Visual Correspondences, his visual conversations with other artists and photographers, such as Martin Parr, Manel Esclusa or Pablo Ortiz Monasterio. Recent projects include the publication of Once@9:53 with Ilan Stavans, a photonovella that combines reportage and fiction, and Tree Time, a book about the relationship between memory and Nature. His current exhibitions are “1968 the Fire of Ideas” and “Migrants”, an essay on the refugee crisis in Europe connected with his own migrations. His work is part of major collections such as the Museum of Fine Arts Houston , the Tate Collection London, The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes Argentina, Museo de Arte Moderno Buenos Aires, Center for Creative Photography Tucson Arizona, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos Santiago de Chile, MALI Lima, etc.

Portrait of John 'Hoppy' Hopkins

John 'Hoppy' Hopkins

John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins (15 August 1937 – 30 January 2015) was a British photographer, video-maker and political activist, who was a highly influential figure in the UK underground movement in London. In 1965 he helped set up the ‘London Free School’ in Notting Hill. This in turn led to the establishment of the Notting Hill carnival. In 1966 Hopkins co-founded the influential ‘International Times’, a radical underground newspaper and Europe’s first ‘alternative’ publication. The voice of a generation, it was first edited by Glaswegian poet and playwright Tom McGrath (1940 – 2009). Hopkins remained a member of its editorial board and a major contributor. He also helped set up the legendary UFO Club with Joe Boyd, with Pink Floyd as the resident band.