The tragic life story of the 1980s Czech pop star Iveta Bartošová has come to a shocking end. After years of addiction and alcohol abuse and destructive personal relations, the 48-year-old singer committed suicide on Tuesday by throwing herself under a train. Bartošová’s tribulations in recent years were very closely followed by the country’s tabloids and some, including her husband, believe that the media’s invasive attention contributed to her demise. But can the tabloids really be held to blame? That’s a question I put to journalist Jana Ciglerová,
A group of young actors from Philadelphia in the US visited the Czech Republic last week to give a performance at the former Nazi concentration camp of Terezín. They staged I Never Saw Another Butterfly, a play based on poetry written by child inmates of the camp, at the Attic Theatre in Terezín, the very space where some of the play’s characters performed seven decades ago.
In today’s Arts I talk to artist and editor Carrie Paterson about the first English-language edition of a rare and fascinating book originally published in 1936. Written by the third wife of modernist architect Adolf Loos, Claire Beck Loos (Klára Becková-Loosová of Plzeň) it was previously available only in German; the new edition, published by Doppelhouse Press, is called Adolf Loos – A Private Portrait.
In the Czech Republic, celebrations of the moveable holiday of Easter combine Christian traditions and age-old pagan customs. Music plays an important part in the celebrations, spanning from folk chants to religious oratorios. In this year’s Easter Monday special we will give you a taste of Czech Easter music, from carols to cantatas.
Plans are afoot to turn a former railroad freight station in the Prague district of Žižkov into a new cultural hub. The culture minister signed a memorandum on Tuesday with Czech Railways, the local town hall and a developer under which the largest preserved functionalist industrial building in the city could one day house the National Film Archive and other institutions. But does turning the listed freight station into a cultural centre make sense? That’s a question I put to architecture critic Adam Gebrian.
Formerly a sleepy, in some parts grimy, neighbourhood, Vršovice has in recent times become one of the liveliest districts of Prague. Much of this activity centres on Krymská St., home to the very successful Café v lese and several other relatively new businesses. One of the people responsible for the rejuvenation of Vršovice is Kateřina McCreary, owner of the popular café-bar Sladkovský. When we spoke there, I asked McCreary what had inspired her to open the place three years ago.