The seventh Signal festival will again bring video mapping and light installations to the streets of Prague, every night from Thursday to Sunday. This year’s edition promises something special in the form of a piece by famous architect Eva Jiřičná, though it will also be overlapping with events linked to the funeral of singer Karel Gott. I discussed all that with Signal founder Martin Pošta, but first asked him about this year’s theme, which is revolution.
The popularity of disaster movies shows how people are fascinated by catastrophes, natural and otherwise. Now there’s a permanent exhibition by the City of Prague Museum called “Prague on Fire” which gives visitors a multimedia experience of the history of the city’s devastating fires. It’s located in a 17th century water tower officially called the “New Mill Water Tower” though of course it’s not new anymore.
Two adventure-loving Czech bikers are fulfilling their dream of discovering the world on their Jawa motorbikes. Michal Franc and Martin Gregor have covered 35 thousand km across Europe and this year they headed for the ghost town of Pripyat in Chernobyl, the site of the worst nuclear accident in history. On their return they paid a visit to Czech Radio to talk about their experiences.
A rose-coloured porcelain cup and saucer made 225 years ago has pride of place at the Museum of Porcelain in Klášterec nad Ohří. It is the oldest preserved item which was made within a series of experiments in porcelain production in 1794. The other pieces fell apart, but the rose-coloured cup and saucer heralded hope for the future. Today the famous Thun brand of porcelain is exported to countries the world over.
Just to the right of Prague’s famous mediaeval astronomical clock on Old Town Square, where tourists congregate in droves on the hour to see “The Walk of the Apostles”, lies an attraction of an altogether different nature. For one thing, it’s a mere century old, rather stinky, and only open to the public once a year. I went along on the tour – so you don’t have to.
Brno’s Martin Reiner is an award-winning poet and novelist. He also works closely with some of the Czech Republic’s other leading writers as head of the publishing house Druhé město (Second City). Our tour of “his Brno” begins in the tree-lined district where Reiner grew up, Černá Pole, around half an hour’s walk from the centre of the Moravian capital.
Tomino Kelar runs Brno’s top independent music venue, Kabinet Múz, as well as drumming with the band Midi Lidi. Kelar is from the Moravian capital but actually lived for several years in Wales and at one point was a member of Mountaineers, a group that were on the Mute label. Our tour of “his Brno” begins at Kavárna Praha, a cool, shoe-box shaped space in the grounds of the city centre Moravian Gallery.
As an expert on protected landscape management, Michal Hošek is used to working in breathtakingly beautiful environments. However when he was sent to northern Georgia in 2012 he had no idea of the ties that would bind him to its pristine nature and warmhearted people. He recently visited Radio Prague’s studio to talk about his work in Georgia, his love for the country and the challenges of developing a tourist infrastructure in a country still largely undiscovered.