The prestigious World Press Photo 2008 has opened at its traditional venue, Charles University’s Carolinum in the Prague city centre, with winning photos highlighting major events from last year – from the election of US President Barack Obama to scenes of conflict such as the war between Russia and Georgia. This year the jury choose some 60 winners from 96,000 entries.
Czech parents may well be relieved to know that, if the latest studies are anything to go by, their children are still keen readers. And what are they reading? Well, how about Psycho for Kids and Baby Punk…? Such is the rich new world of Czech children’s writing and publishing, post-1989. It’s a world where poetry, music and visual art have come to overlap with some surprising results. In reaction to four decades of censorship, just about anything goes and there is little nostalgia for the old days. The journalist Kateřina Kadlecová has taken a
The late Czech architect Jan Kaplický's buildings have been described as 'some of the most remarkable... that Britain has ever seen' and, by a disgruntled Prince Charles, as amongst the worst examples of 'the surrealist picnic' that is modern architecture. When Kaplický died at the beginning of 2009, British architecture lost one of its most creative, and provocative, figures. Long-time friend and head of London's Design Museum Deyan Sudjic has curated an exhibition called 'Remembering Jan Kaplický – Architect of the Future', which runs until November
The Google Books Library is a huge project under which the internet giant aims to scan millions of books and make them available on-line. In the US a court is considering a deal struck between Google and publishers that would cover all books covered by copyright in the US, a deal which would see copyright holders receive nearly two thirds of the price of books printed to order from Google Books. Now the issue has come before the European Commission in Brussels, with many in Europe wary of Google’s plans. Among them is the Association of Czech Booksellers
As Radio Prague reported earlier this year plans are well underway to restore a statue of U.S. president Woodrow Wilson in front of Prague’s main station that was torn down by the Nazis in 1941. On Monday, however, an important milestone in that project – the raising of a polystyrene model on a crane – didn’t go quite to plan, as rival sculptors ended up throwing punches.
This week, heads of Czech Centres from around the world are gathered in Prague to discuss where next for their cultural institutes. Amongst them is Ladislav Pflimpfl, head of the Czech Centre in London. Just before he hopped on a plane to Prague this weekend, I stopped by his London office to ask him what Czech events he had organised this autumn in the British capital:
Moravian folk music has long and rich traditions, and many artists work with its motifs in creating their own musical style. One of them is the “Walachian Bard” Vlasta Redl. He started his career in the mid 1980s in a band that was very well received, but eventually looked ever closer to the traditional Moravian music for inspiration.
The company Modernista, which has a shop in the centre of Prague, deals in both original Czech furniture from the first half of the 20th century and replicas it has made under license. Perhaps most notably, Modernista sells and recreates Cubist pieces – including ceramics and clocks – which are unique to this part of the world. Owner Janek Jaros described the business to me when we spoke a few days ago.