Sestka - or "the Six" - is an ongoing series of exhibitions at the Prague House of Photography, featuring work by up-and-coming photographers from six of the country's most important photography schools, including AVU's New Media Studio and Prague's FAMU film academy. But, at the moment, the gallery is showing an installation by students and graduates from Usti nad Labem's University of J.E. Purkyne, in north Bohemia. The opening was held shortly before the start of the holidays.
Michael Cunningham is perhaps best known for his 1998 novel The Hours, which won both a Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the PEN/Faulkner award. The book was later made into a movie of the same title, starring Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, who won an Oscar for best actress. Cunningham was in the Czech capital recently for a previously postponed Prague Writers' Festival event; he spoke to Radio Prague about his approach to writing, whether readers differ around the world and his impressions of the Czech capital.
Ecstasy of St Theresa are among the most highly respected of Czech rock and pop groups. Formed by producer Jan P. Muchow in the early 1990s, the band went through a number of line-up changes before reaching its current form of Muchow and singer Katerina Winterova, who is also an actress at the National Theatre. Four years after their last CD Slowthinking, Ecstasy of St Theresa are back with a new collection, Watching Black. I discussed the latest album with Jan P. Muchow at his small studio, just off Wenceslas Square.
Ivan Kral is perhaps the only Czech to have left his mark on the history of rock music. He was in an early incarnation of Blondie, worked with the great Patti Smith for a number of years and played guitar with Iggy Pop. His songs have been covered by such giants as U2 and David Bowie. In this special programme, Ivan Kral looks back over his career in music, but also reflects on his boyhood in Prague, moving to the US with his family and much more besides.
One Christmas carol that doesn't hail from the Czech Republic is the one about Good King Wenceslas, although he is this country's patron Saint and ruled here in the 10th century, until he was disposed of by the fratricidal Boleslav. The snow hasn't exactly been "deep and crisp and even" either so far this winter, but there is plenty of Christmas spirit about. Christmas Eve is the big day for Czech children, when "Jezisek" - the Infant Jesus - brings the presents, after the family has enjoyed a meal of fried carp and potato salad. And there is also
Coming up in this week's programme - the eagerly-awaited release of Jiri Menzel's adaptation of I Served The King Of England by the legendary Czech author Bohumil Hrabal. And four young Czech women bring the sounds of Africa to the heart of Central Europe - the Yellow Sisters talk about Mayan oracles, Gambian rhythms and their new album, Singalana.
Charles Bridge is one of the most famous symbols of Prague, but did you know that it was known simply as the "stone bridge" until the 19th century? Or that the statues of saints that line the sides were a late addition in the 18th century? In 2007, a museum of Charles Bridge will open, dedicated to preserving the bridge's history and legends.
Letna Park in Prague occupies a high, flat plain overlooking the Vltava river. Over the centuries, it's been the location of a military barracks, May Day parades, and last winter, a tent city for the Prague's homeless population. This season, Letna has a new occupant, the variety show known as Palazzo.
Usually in Czech Books we discuss poetry or prose, but for this week's programme we look at an intriguing book that fits neither category. Instead it is a collection of interviews, coming from a part of the Czech Republic that has gone through huge and sometimes traumatic changes over the last sixty or seventy years. I talk with two people who were very closely involved in the book, Matej Spurny and Ondrej Matejka.