Twelve coffee houses in the Czech Republic will join celebrations of World Poetry Day on Saturday with a special offer: visitors will be able to pay for their coffee with a poem. The pay-with-a-poem initiative, which has now been adopted in over 1,000 coffee houses the world over, aims to bring poetry back into our increasingly hectic and consumerist lives.
People passing by náměstí Míru in Prague these days may have come across a strange pipe-like structure protruding from the ground. Though it looks like it might have been left there by workers, it is in fact the world’s first ever poetry jukebox, the so-called Poesiomat, invented by café owner and idea maker Ondřej Kobza. In this edition of In Focus, Ruth Fraňková went to have a look at it:
Kim Longinotto’s Dreamcatcher is a compelling documentary centred on the remarkable Brenda Myers-Powell. A former prostitute and drug addict, she now runs a foundation helping other women to get off the streets of Chicago. The film, which picked up a prize at Sundance, is also a shattering account of the abuse experienced by many girls and young women in the city’s ghettos.
Ivan Klíma has described the 2009 novel Three Faces of an Angel by Jiří Pehe as one of the most outstanding Czech novels since the fall of communism. The book is not only an epic and dramatic journey through the life of one family in the twentieth century, but also a reflection on many of the issues of our time. If you are more familiar with Jiří Pehe as a political scientist, you may also be surprised to find that it even reflects in some detail on the nature of angels. David Vaughan talks to the writer.
Václav Krbůšek is a well-known designer and animator behind a number of highly successful web campaigns and microsites. Most recently, he made headlines as a member of a team behind the release of an internet game called Pussy Walk, in which players guide a bumbling character (bearing a close resemblance to the country’s president) to the crown jewels.
Hip hop seniors from New Zealand, Korea’s keyboard-wielding e-Sports stars and the fabulist who “legitimised” the Iraq war. These were just some of the huge range of subjects explored at the colourful One World international festival of human rights documentaries, which came to a close in Prague on Wednesday night.
One of the biggest Czech film festivals, Febiofest, which is to kick off in Prague next week, has officially joined the campaign to release Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian director who has been imprisoned in Russia. A leading activist opposed to the Russian annexation of Crimea, Sentsov was arrested in May last year on charges of preparing terrorist attacks. Despite pressure from various authorities, such as the European Film Academy and Amnesty International, his lawyer has been unable to secure his release.