The Czech Republic lost one of its finest artists this week, Eva Svankmajerova: writer, painter, and Surrealist artistic collaborator with her husband Jan on numerous mixed live-action/stop animation films including the award-winning "Little Otik" in 2000. Over forty-five years Eva and Jan Svankmajer became inseparable on the Czech arts scene. They collaborated on deeply visceral works that echoed the darkness of totalitarian life as well as life in general, hiding and subsequently revealing surfaces beneath surfaces: sexuality, corruption, hidden
As we reported on Tuesday, restoration work is still going on in order to repair the damage caused by the massive floods in the summer of 2002 in various archives around Prague. Because the memory is so fresh and conservation experts in the Czech Republic have gathered a lot of experience over the past three years, the Prague City Council has offered to send a team of Czech experts to New Orleans to help the city restore its historic heritage damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Prague Castle dominates the sky-line of the Czech capital and is one of the most potent symbols of this country's culture and history. A new exhibition, at the Castle, features haunting and intriguing photographs of the former seat of Czech kings - from the days when the art of photography was very much in its infancy.
The Gypsy fiddler is an enduring Romany stereotype, but we often forget there are also many Romany classical musicians and that in Central Europe the Romany tradition has had a huge influence on the history of classical music. Recently, as part of the Prague Autumn music festival, Czech audiences had the chance to hear the Rajko Ensemble from Hungary, with a concert in the Lucerna Ballroom that celebrated these links. All the orchestra's members are Roma; many are students or graduates from the Rajko School in Budapest, where talented Romany children
The Czech avant garde punk band Uz Jsme Doma this week play a special concert in Prague to mark the 20th anniversary of their foundation in the north Bohemian town of Teplice. Uz Jsme Doma (which translates as "Now We're Home") came to prominence after the 1989 revolution, and since then have built up an enviable reputation overseas, particularly in the United States. That's something the band's Mira Wanek reflected on when I spoke to him just ahead of the anniversary show.
Dutchman Edgar de Bruin first came to Czechoslovakia in the late 1970s to play basketball. That high school excursion led to university studies in Prague and developed into a life-long interest in Czech culture - especially in the literature. Mr de Bruin, a translator of Czech works since the Velvet Revolution, is now a literary agent; his agency Pluh ("plough") - represents nearly a dozen Czech authors, selling their rights to Dutch and other mainly European publishers. I caught up with him in an Amsterdam café for a frank discussion about the