top of page

Witness: The Russian Invasion of Prague, 1968

In the summer of 1968. Jim Mayer, a US-born photographer who learned his craft from his father, was a student hitch-hiking across Europe. When he heard about Prague Spring, he took the next train to Czechoslovakia. With him was his medium format Rolleiflex SL66. That was what he used when he awakened in his hotel room the next morning to discover the city had been occupied by the USSR. Jim documented everything he could on the film he had with him, his trained eye framing not only the occupation but the faces and actions of the Czech people as their lives changed in an instant.


James Mayer

Born in Ohio, James P. Mayer became interested in photography in high school. On graduating, Jim moved to San Francisco and became a founding member of Optic Nerve, a leftist photography collective. 


In 1980, Jim formed Ideas In Motion with John Rogers and Lynn Adler. For 40 years, they created self-produced documentaries, sponsored videos, and commissioned work, addressing social issues and celebrating the creative spirit. Since its founding, Ideas In Motion provided pro bono video services for Bay Area arts organizations, including the Pickle Family Circus and the San Francisco Mime Troupe.

bottom of page