Jan Mihaliček

Czech Republic

The beginnings of Jan Mihaliček’s (b. 1965) photographic career are in the period before the Velvet Revolution of late 1989. He was at that time photographing mainly the community of Czechoslovak skateboarders and snowboarders and, from 1987 onwards, was involved in several samizdat projects. From December 1989 onwards, he worked as a photojournalist for the Lidové noviny daily. He was photographing not only in Czechoslovakia, but also in many other countries around the world. After the withdrawal of the Soviet Army of occupation in June 1991, he travelled through Afghanistan with the Czech journalist and later senator and then Member of the European Parliament) Jaromír Štětina, creating with him a series of reports with which they were the first to confirm the existence of Russian POWs from the war in Afghanistan who were found in Pakistan. Mihaliček took part in the first humanitarian trips to Yugoslavia and Nagorno-Karabakh at war, for the Lidové noviny Foundation (Nadace Lidových novin), which gradually became the respected People in Need (Člověk v tísni) foundation. In 1994 he was on the steering committee for Týden (The Week), a new magazine, and was one of its staff photographs. For his photo reports from the flood-stricken city of Ostrava in 1997 he won First Prize in the Czech Press Photo competition.

He has been a freelance photographer since the start of the new millennium. At present, as both a photographer and a cameraman, he is concerned with social topics. The photos he makes for himself are predominantly classic black-and-white documentary works in the spirit of humanist photography. In 2018 he became a founding member of 400ASA, an association of like-minded photographers, which aims to revive Czech documentary photography.


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