A flower market on a giant paddle boat, a floating cycling path along the Vltava River or a special high-heels lane running across the cobbled centre of Prague – these are just a few projects created within the Urban Interventions initiative, which is currently on display in Prague’s Dox gallery. The organizers have asked architects to find ways of livening up what they see as problematic public spaces in the capital.
After three years of work, a new film by the Oscar-winning director Jan Svěrák called Kooky opened in Czech cinemas on Thursday. It is about a teddy bear lost in a forest inhabited by various fantastic creatures. It is shot using state of the art technology, and features the director’s father and son as voice actors.
After his images of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia flashed around the world in 1968, Josef Koudelka went on to become one of the greatest photo-journalists of our time. Now in his early 70s, he has just received an award for promoting the good name of Czech culture. At the same time, Koudelka has presented some of his most important works to a Prague museum.
In this week’s Spotlight we focus on a small exhibition at the City of Prague museum which aims to cast some light on the centuries old links between Czechs and Vietnamese and the culture of the large Vietnamese community in the capital. The exhibition "Vietnam in Prague" is running at the City of Prague museum until mid-September. Organisers say the number of visits has already exceeded their expectations.
Scores of pre-fabricated apartment blocks know as "paneláky" make Jižní Město one of Prague’s greyest suburbs. Currently, however, a festival called Street for Art is bringing a splash of colour to the concrete jungle. Alongside a temporary gallery called BLOX, it features a range of outdoor events including a farmers’ market and guided bus tour. Jiří Sulženko, one of the organizers of Street for Art, explained what led them establish the festival three years ago.
The Prague Writers’ Festival which begins on June 6 is all about the encounter of ideas. Over the last twenty years this annual event has become a lively forum for writers from many parts of the world, and the diversity of their work and thought has been the festival’s greatest strength. This year it revolves around the theme of Heresy and Rebellion, pointing to the perennial tension between the writer and the society in which he or she lives. A couple of days ago I met the festival director, Michael March, to talk about this year’s event. We began
The Nové divadlo (New Czech Theatre) was established in the Canadian city of Toronto in 1970. Since then it has enjoyed several high points: the great actor Jiří Voskovec appeared in one production, Josef Škvorecký wrote a play for the amateur group and it staged the world premiere of the Czech language version of Václav Havel’s Temptation. Recently the New Czech Theatre received an award from the Czech Foreign Ministry for its work in promoting the good name of its founders’ native country. After the ceremony, I spoke about its beginnings with
Visitors to the Czech capital will likely have come across the legend of the Prague Golem – the famous man-like creature created by Rabbi Yehuda Loew – in the 16th century. The most popular depiction of the character is as a burly clay giant, designed by the late sculptor Jaroslav Horejc for the 1950s film The Emperor’s Baker/The Baker’s Emperor. On Tuesday, a Prague court recognised his descendant’s claim to the film version, meaning that anyone else using the character will have to pay for the rights.
My guest in One on One is Tomáš Škrdlant. With more than sixty films to his name, covering over thirty years, Tomáš is one of the Czech Republic’s foremost documentary film makers. Much of his work has focused on the lives of people living on the margins of society: sometimes because of disability, sometimes old age, or simply because they are different. This ties in with a second thread that runs through his films: our complex relationship to the world around us, how we identify with the place we live and its ecology. When I visited Tomáš Škrdlant