Scientists from the Technical University in Brno have responded to an appeal to help albinos in Ghana, creating an affordable, high-factor sun protection cream that can be produced cheaply in local conditions from easily available ingredients. Money for the start-up was raised through the biggest Czech crowdfunding site HitHit which supports young artists, scientists and designers.
A new exhibition entitled ‘Fear of the Unknown’, previously shown in an earlier inception in Bratislava, opened this week at Prague’s National Technical Library, focussing on the plight of refugees and the discourse surrounding the migrant crisis. The discussion is one which has been highly-politicised and exploited not only by fringe politicians but sadly even by the political mainstream. One of the exhibition’s main aims is thus to show that hate and xenophobia are never the answer – and many of the installations make the point very effectively.
A freshly launched online campaign aims to curb trolling on the Czech internet. Actual comments – including those wishing all kinds of deaths on gays, Muslims and members of other minorities – are superimposed on photos of 40 or so targets of such venom in the campaign We’re all in this together, which has caused quite a stir. The person behind it is Lukáš Houdek, from the government’s Hate Free Culture project.
Lukáš Houdek is a man of many activities. The coordinator of the government’s anti-racism Hate Free Culture project, he is also a photographer and curator as well as heading a publishers specialised in Romany literature. Houdek is from furthest West Bohemia and now lives in a village outside the capital. But for many years he called the Smíchov/Prague 5 district home – and it is there we begin our tour of “his Prague” at Cibulka, a rather hidden park.
On Tuesday, around thirty members of various religious denominations – including Muslims, Jews and Christians – sat down for a joint breakfast event in Studio Alta in Prague’s Holešovice district. The event, attended by community representatives, the South African and Kuwaiti ambassadors to the Czech Republic, and many ordinary members of the public, was organized by the Hate Free Culture Project. The breakfast is part of a wider effort by this organisation to foster greater understanding in the Czech Republic amidst heightened tensions over the
Under a new campaign sponsored by the government’s Agency for Social Inclusion, Czech pubs, cafés and other venues are now able to display stickers declaring that they welcome members of the country’s minority communities. Called Hate Free Zones, they are part of the broader Hate Free Culture project, which began late last year. I asked organiser Lukáš Houdek what Hate Free Culture is hoping to achieve.
The poet, playwright and novelist Irena Eliášová spent her early childhood in a Romany village in south-western Slovakia. The memory of this time has become the defining experience in her writing. But Irena does not write just about the lost world of her childhood in the 1950s and 60s. She has also written powerfully and poignantly about the life of Roma in the Czech Republic today. Yet even when she writes about the present, her work is permeated with a sense of family and community that also draws us back to an older world of Roma tradition. David
The Czech Republic is marking 25 years since the start of the Velvet Revolution which toppled the communist regime. The country has since undergone a dramatic transformation from totalitarianism to a free-market democracy, affecting virtually all areas of life. The changes have been especially marked in Prague and other big cities but in the regions, the transformation has been less smooth and often more painful. In our special programme today, we look at how two historic Czech towns, Mikulov and Stříbro, have changed over the last 25 years.