Art lovers in Prague can now appreciate non-conformity in a remarkable exhibition featuring contemporary avant-garde British artists at the Černá Labuť Art Gallery. The eleven featured artists fall outside of mainstream and ‘favored’ art movements in the United Kingdom. Among them are Charles Thomson, Anna Keen, Joe Machine and Ella Guru.
The celebrated French actress Catherine Deneuve, one of the best-known names in international cinema, has received a lifetime achievement award, the Kristian Award for her contribution to world cinematography, at the 25th annual Febio Fest in Prague. The star of films such as Belle de Jour, The Last Metro, and Indochina, arrived in Prague for the close of the festival.
A huge exhibition of work by the world-renowned Czech photographer Josef Koudelka has just opened in Prague. Entitled Returning, it features hundreds of photos from throughout the 80-year-old’s career, including famous cycles such as Gypsies and the stunning images of the 1968 invasion that first brought him international acclaim. I discussed the show with Helena Koenigsmarková, director of exhibition venue the Museum of Decorative Arts.
On August 25th, 1968, just four days after Russian tanks rolled through Czechoslovakia to crush the Prague Spring reform movement, eight brave Russians staged a daring protest on Moscow’s Red Square, unfurling banners that read “Hands off Czechoslovakia!” and “Shame to the Invaders!”. They were quickly surrounded by communist police, beaten up and arrested. Most of them spent years locked up in prison, labour camps or in psychiatric institutions.
Josef Straka is an heir to the rich tradition of the poet as a wanderer through the city. In Paris they have the “flâneur”, but in Prague it is the “chodec”, the walker, who captures the poetry of the everyday and the ordinary. Josef’s poetic journeys have taken him far beyond the edges of the city and even this country itself, as we find out in his conversation with David Vaughan for this week’s Czech Books.
Many people don’t know that the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra is one of the oldest leading Czech orchestras. It was founded only three years after the creation of Czech Radio in 1923 and it is currently celebrating its 91st season. I talked to Jakub Čížek, the Director of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra about their ongoing season and began by asking him about the orchestra’s mission.
Prague’s biggest film event, Febiofest, gets underway on Thursday evening. The festival will deliver more than 160 movies in 15 categories, including New Europe, a competition section showcasing debuts. Viewers can also look forward to profiles of critically acclaimed directors and stars such as French singer and actor Charles Aznavour and Sherlock’s Mark Gattis.
From Wednesday Czech Radio is available on Alexa, a voice-activated smart device of the kind that may be seen in most homes in the future. To get Radio Prague’s news, for instance, all you need to do is issue a command and the headlines are playing a few second later. I discussed Alexa – which resembles a small round speaker – with Czech Radio new media specialist Adam Javůrek.