In this week’s Arts, I talk to Karolína Garguláková, an independent filmmaker who, with her husband Lukáš, is producing Baťa Lives about inhabitants of neighborhoods built by the famous Baťa Shoe Company in cities around the world. Such areas, designed according to the same basic blueprint, still exist in the Netherlands, India, Brazil or Canada. It would be a mistake to think, however, the film was a history of the Baťa business empire.
A group of world public figures, including US linguist Noam Chomsky and British film director Ken Loach, are publicly protesting against the Days of Jerusalem Festival, which is to be held within the Pilsen 2015 European City of Culture, claiming that it is being used to help legitimise Israel’s political strategy.
The historic building of the National Museum overlooking Wenceslas Square is undergoing a major renovation that is set to end in 2018. The museum has had to relocate thousands of exhibits and is using the time to create new collections and work on a modern, interactive presentation. I spoke to the head of the museum’s collection-building and exhibitions department, historian Michal Stehlík, about the renovation and the challenges it poses.
Karolína Světlá is one of the greatest female writers of the 19th century, yet in recent years, her works have somewhat fallen out of fashion. A group of people from the Footprints in nature non-profit organisation are trying to change that. Last year, they established an educational trail dedicated to the great writer and this weekend, they are holding the first-ever Karolína Světlá festival.
Tábor’s Kalle are one of the more interesting newish bands on the Czech music scene. Guitarist David Zeman and singer Veronika Buriánková, who may quite possibly have heard a PJ Harvey LP or two, put down eight tracks as demos last year but then realised they were good enough to put out. The resulting Live from the Room was among the most acclaimed local releases of 2014.
In recent years literacy experts have expressed concern that children are not reading enough for pleasure and that many youngsters are never read to by their parents. They claim that children who are left to fill their own time, watching TV and playing computer games may be at a serious disadvantage later on in life. In an effort to offset this alarming trend a Czech NGO is organizing an annual week of events to provide inspiration for a habit that may turnaround a child’s life.