A new book, which has just been released by the PositiF publishing house, is mapping the phenomenon of the so-called Šumperák, probably the most famous family house design in Communist Czechoslovakia. In the late 1960s and 1970s, the house was replicated in towns and villages all over the country and to this day, there are an estimated 4,000 Šumperáks to be found across the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Photographer and art historian Tomáš Pospěch travelled around the country to map the phenomenon and trace the history of the popular house. Ruth
The Art in Box gallery in downtown Prague primarily focuses on photography. In over five years of existence, it has put on exhibitions by the great exile photographer Jan Lukas, filmmaking legend Jan Švankmajer and scores of other noteworthy names. The small gallery is run by the Slovak-born curator, artist and journalist Nadia Rovderová. When we met recently at Art in Box, I asked Rovderová what had first brought her to the Czech capital.
In this week’s Sunday Music show we are profiling 22-year-old Czech singer Gabriela Gunčíková who will represent the Czech Republic at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The singer will perform the song I Stand, an English-language song with music by Christian Schneider and Sara Biglert and lyrics by Biglert and Aidan O'Connor.
After the success of the first-ever English production of Jára Cimrman plays, The Stand-In, the English speaking audience now has a chance to get acquainted with another of the fictional character’s plays. Dobytí severního pólu or The Conquest of the North Pole is now being staged in Prague’s Jára Cimrman Theatre by the Cimrman English studio, a group of Prague-based, English-speaking actors.
If you like classical music but don’t enjoy dressing up for events at big concert halls, you can now enjoy your favourite music from the comfort of your home in your slippers. A new project called Vážný zájem or Serious Interest brings classical musicians directly to your house or apartment. The only thing you have to do is sign up on a special website to connect with the musicians, invite some neighbours and friends to make up the numbers and make sure they have something to eat and drink after the concert is over.
Czech Radio’s youth and alternative station Radio Wave has just begun broadcasting from a glass-fronted studio right on Vinohradská St. that allows it extremely close contact with the public. What’s more, the futuristic-looking studio will be launched with a free street party on the adjacent Balbínova St. this coming Saturday. As preparations for it were being finalised, I asked Wave’s director of programming, Robert Candra, how the public had been reacting to such proximity to the station’s studio.
Today’s edition of Sunday Music Show is dedicated to one of the legends of Czech 20th century music, Jaroslav Ježek, who is best known for the songs he composed for the legendary avant-garde satirical cabaret, the Liberated Theatre. This year marks 110 years since Ježek’s birth and on that occasion we will be listening to three unique albums that pay homage to the great composer and pioneer of Czech jazz music.
Jiří Brdečka is remembered above all for the screenplay of one of the best loved Czech comedies. The 1964 film Limonadový Joe (Lemonade Joe) is a parody of the western; the hero of the title is a teetotal sharpshooter, who turns out to be the Wild West sales rep – with a gift for the one-liner – of a soft drinks company called Kola Loka. The film is full of quirky humour and this is something that we also find in a side of Brdečka’s work that has been neglected since his death over thirty years ago. Perhaps his greatest contribution to cinema are
Friday, April 8, is International Romani Day, celebrating Roma culture and raising awareness about Roma issues. This week, organisers behind the Sobě blíž (Closer Together) project for high school children – brought interested kids to Lety, South Bohemia, to see performances by Roma groups, but also to learn about a dark chapter in Czech history. Lety was the site of a Romany internment camp in WWII where more than 300 people died and many more were sent to the death camp Auschwitz.