The Russian woodpecker was the nickname given to a rapid-fire shortwave signal emitted during the cold war from the Duga radar in what is today’s Ukraine. But was there a connection between Duga and 1986 disaster at the nearby Chernobyl nuclear power station? That question is explored in a film entitled The Russian Woodpecker currently being screened at the One World festival of human rights documentaries in Prague. I discussed the subject with producer Mike Lerner, a guest of East Doc Platform, which is organised by the Institute of Documentary
The Shockproof Festival is on at Prague’s arthouse cinema Aero. The festival, known for its focus on B-movie action films, gore, exploitation horror and more, this year is focusing largely on the theme of epidemiology and outbreaks (don’t be surprised if a zombie apocalypse is just around the corner).
The Belgian film No Man is an Island opened the One World festival of human rights documentaries in Prague earlier this week. The film maps the fates of two young migrants – one from Ghana, the other from Tunisia – who have been taken in by locals on the Italian island of Lampedusa, which for a long time was at the forefront of the migration crisis in Europe. I discussed the theme of No Man is an Island – and the limbo-like existence of its protagonists – with director Tim De Keersmaecker.
Charlotte Fairman – nicknamed Charlie One – is an English vocalist who has been living here in Prague for the last two decades. The singer moved to the city after appearing on Petal, a classic UK house track by mid-1990s dance outfit Wubble-U. But here she is best known as the front-woman of Ohm Square, who have been a fixture on the local dance scene for many years. When Charlie came into our studios recently, I asked what had first brought her to the city she now calls home.
This edition of Sunday Music Show is devoted to Czech opera singer, bass-baritone Adam Plachetka, who is currently at home at the Vienna State opera. One of the bright lights on the Czech opera scene Plachetka can boast of being the first Czech to perform on leading opera stages in New York, Vienna, London and Milan before having reached the age of 30.
Members of the Czech Technical University in Prague’s Faculty of Cybernetics, focusing on multi-robotic systems, have been cooperating with experts from the National Heritage Institute in Olomouc. They ran a first test using autonomous drones at a church in Sternberk in the Olomouc region to map the state of the building. Drones, unlike people, need little lighting and no scaffolding at all to get to otherwise hard-to-reach areas.
An exhibition called Afghanistan: Rescued Treasures of Buddhism organized by the National Museum aims to present the war-torn country in a different light, to draw attention to its rich cultural history and point out the many influences that left their mark on Afghan culture and traditions. The exhibition focuses on the country’s pre-Islamic Buddhist period. Its chief organizer Lubomír Novák showed me around and began by explaining what makes the exhibition so special.
The internationally renowned Czech opera singer Magdalena Kožená has established an endowment fund to support the Czech Republic’s unique system of art schools, focused on music, ballet, drama and visual arts. The fund was officially presented at a donor evening at Prague’s Rudolfinum on Friday. I asked David Mareček, the Managing Director of the Czech Philharmonic, which is a co-patron of the fund, to explain what makes these schools so special:
An armchair designed by Slovenian architect Josip Plecnik for Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk was sold for a record sum at Prague’s Sýpka auction house on Sunday. The auction house says it is not at liberty to reveal whether the precious artefact was acquired by Prague Castle which has two other pieces from the collection.