Probably the first generation of Vietnamese who have grown up in the Czech Republic is now coming of age. Although students and immigrants from Vietnam have been coming to this country since the 1970’s, the face and lifestyle of the Vietnamese minority is changing, with the younger generation helping to build a cultural bridge. A Prague studio called Družina is hosting a month-long series of events entitled “Czech Vietnam” that tries to bridge the gap between Czechs and their Vietnamese neighbours.
Glen Emery has been in Prague since the early 1990s and today owns the lively and cosmopolitan bar Bukowski’s in Žižkov. But the Canadian, a seasoned raconteur, started out in the city with Jo’s Bar, just off the main square in Malá Strana, or the Lesser Quarter. In this edition of My Prague, Emery takes us on a short tour of the historic area, which lies below Prague Castle on the left bank of the River Vltava.
In this week’s Arts I talk to Jitka Hanušová of Art for People, collaborating on an upcoming exhibition at the GASK Gallery in Kutná Hora, central Bohemia. The show, entitled “Venice - the Eternal Dream”, opens next week, featuring work by Italian photographer Maria Pia Severi and Venetian Carnevale masks from the traditional Pietro Longhi atelier.
Wednesday sees the launch of the 23rd Prague Writers’ Festival, whose highlights will include appearances by one of the most important guests the event has ever brought to the Czech capital: the Noble Prize-winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk. However, problems surrounding funding mean that this year’s festival will be the shortest to date.
Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the work of great Baroque composer Jan Dismas Zelenka – in his day admired by contemporaries like Johann Sebastian Bach. His work was completely forgotten after his death, only rediscovered 150 years later by the Romantic-period composer Bedřich Smetana. Slowly, knowledge of Zelenka’s work emerged. Even now there is plenty to be discovered: Prague’s Ensemble Inégal recently performed Zelenka’s forgotten Easter Mass for the very first time.
This week’s Sunday Music Show is devoted to one of the country’s most prominent jazz artists –flutist Jiří Stivín. The 68-year-old musician, who is reputed to be able to play on a blade of grass, says the feel for jazz is something you are born with and some of the best renditions come from children who are as yet unspoiled by the constraints of a music education.
Until the middle of the 20th century, the territory of today’s Czech Republic had always been bilingual and its German literary legacy is huge. Adalbert Stifter, Rainer Maria Rilke, Franz Werfel, Max Brod and Franz Kafka are just a few of the best known writers, but there are hundreds of others, many undeservedly neglected or even quite forgotten. David Vaughan looks at an initiative to kindle interest in this country’s German literature and to revive Czech-German literary ties.
In this week’s Arts my guest is New York-based landscape architect Martin Barry who last year launched a new festival and conference in Prague called reSITE, focussing on urbanism and rethinking the public space. To this aim, he and organisers involved everyone from internationally recognised designers and urban planners, to students of arts and architecture, and last, but not least, politicians.
A much-anticipated exhibition of posters by the Czech Art Nouveau master Alfons Mucha has just opened its doors at the grand Municipal House in central Prague. The collection, which belongs to the Czech-born tennis legend Ivan Lendl, is the largest in the world and is being shown publicly for the first time ever.
The Prague-based Days of European Film Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. In addition the usual program of thought-provoking films from all over Europe, the organizers have introduced a new section of the festival and will hold special events in Prague to celebrate. The festival is starting this week, so for today’s In Focus Radio Prague caught up with the program coordinator, Zdeněk Blaha, and asked him about the highlights planned for this anniversary year of the festival: