There was a Scotswoman, an Irish dance school, and a lot of Czechs… Not heard that one before? Well, for the past eight years, Prague has played host to a summer school of Irish dance and traditional music. This year, the course is bigger than ever, attracting over 200 participants from Europe and America. The programme has proved a hit with the scores of Czechs to have taken part. On Tuesday, I paid it a visit.
It was 40 years ago this Thursday that Warsaw-Pact troops invaded the former Czechoslovakia, putting an end to the hope and reform of the so-called ‘Prague Spring’. All this week, Radio Prague will be commemorating the invasion by broadcasting the testimonies of those who were there. For today’s programme, Rosie Johnston spoke to Libor Hajský, a junior photographer at the Czech Press Agency on August 21, 1968 – the day that Soviet tanks rolled into Prague.
Several of Josef Koudelka’s 1968 photos are being shown at the Mánes gallery, by the River Vltava, in a new exhibition entitled 1945 – Liberation, 1968 – Occupation. Two rooms of iconic black and white photographs show two very different sets of images: the Red Army greeted with smiles and flowers in May 1945, and Russian soldiers berated by angry crowds in August 1968. So how do the people looking at these images feel about today's Russia, especially in the light of the current situation in Georgia?
A walk down the High Street in Scotland’s capital Edinburgh might normally present you with scenic views and the chance to buy some whiskey and woolens. But not so during the month of August, when the thoroughfare is transformed by the city’s fringe festival and, more specifically, the hundreds of performers clambering to sell tickets to their shows. Now in its 61st year, the Edinburgh fringe is said to be the biggest arts festival on the planet, attracting performers and visitors from all over the globe. This year, more Czechs are on the bill
People come to the South Moravian town of Mikulov, located right on the border with Austria, for many things – historic monuments, folklore, and wine. But only few would expect that the town boasts a large collection of contemporary art, created during 15 years of summer art symposiums. The Mikulov Art Symposium “dílna” or workshop concluded its 15th year at the weekend with an exhibition of this year’s works at Mikulov chateau.
Czech singer Veronika Diamant decided at a very early age that she wanted to be a jazz musician. She studied music at the Prague Conservatory and is currently working on her new album. If everything goes according to plan, it could be released in spring of next year. When I met with Veronika, I first asked her when she discovered the world of music.
The Edinburgh fringe is one of the biggest arts festivals in the world, with the Scottish capital more than doubling in population during the three weeks each August when the fringe takes place. Parks, churches and even public toilets are all transformed into venues, attracting performers and visitors from all over the globe. This year, five Czech theatre groups are in Edinburgh to perform at the festival. They are part of the ‘Czech Republic @ The Fringe’ season, coordinated by Ladislav Pflimpfl from the Czech Centre in London. I caught up with
My guest for this edition of One in One is Rachael Weiss, an Australian writer who has recently published a book called ‘Me, Myself and Prague’. As the title suggests, it sums up in a very amusing way, what it is like for a foreigner to come and live in the Czech Republic without knowing the people or the language. When I met with Rachael, I first asked her what made her come to Prague.