The Prague Writers’ Festival (PWF) kicks off on April 14 with a typically diverse and impressive list of writers coming to Prague to read and discuss their work. Festival director Michael March sees the event as an opportunity to acquaint local audiences with some major talents that are far less-known here than they should be.
Award-winning filmmaker Martin Dušek employs a comedic approach to raise serious questions surrounding the post-WWII expulsion of Czechoslovakia’s large German minority in his latest work, “Mein Kroj” (“Mein Folk Costume”), a half-hour documentary set for broadcast on public channel Czech Television this weekend.
Prepare yourself for a packed weekend of contemporary dance when the annual festival bops around April 13–16. Now in its 18th year, the Platform puts together the best premieres of Czech contemporary dance in the country from the previous year. Started in 1994, the festival always had a goal to promote not only locally, but also internationally, the best of Czech dance.
This year’s Days of European Film festival is bigger than last year’s, with highlights including Ralph Fiennes’s updated take on ‘Coriolanus,’ a dialogue-free look at the Balkan wars and a Danish costume drama shot on Czech locales. The European Commission’s annual topic, aging, has its own section, as do films that promote the EU goal of diversity.
The Czech Centre’s exhibition of contemporary Russian art, Extra Curricular/After School presents the work of five Russian artists working in a variety of mediums and styles. The exhibit is the first step in an effort to renew the artistic connection between Czech and Russian contemporary artists that was formed among conceptualist artists and art critics in the 1960s and ’70s.
A lack of transparency, a lack of planning and collaboration, a lack of vision: these are some of the obstacles hindering solutions to Prague’s urban issues. But two connected initiatives - UrbanACT, a student-led effort encouraging the public to ‘Act for your city’ and ReSITE, an international festival scheduled for this May – are aiming to help lead the city toward a better urban future.
Like stains on a landscape, coal mines, steel plants and other factories obstruct views and pollute the countryside. Or do they? A new photograph exhibition at the Rudolfinum seeks to show that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In this case, the beholders are German couple Bernd and Hilla Becher.
The Groovy dada lounge revisited is an exhibition of recently rediscovered photographs by Robert Carrithers documenting New York City’s early ‘80s bohemian underground that centered around the legendary Club 57. The show includes portraits of artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat at the very outset of their meteoric rises to fame, as well as numerous other artists and club-goers.
The first decade and a half of the career of the Plastic People of the Universe, a rock group who were banned and imprisoned in Communist Czechoslovakia, is documented in a newly released DVD compilation of material that is frequently on the raw side but rarely less than absorbing.
In the wake of the Russian Revolution and civil war, Prague played a surprisingly large and often unacknowledged role in 20th century Russian literature and thought. While the exiled aristocratic and political exiles settled in Paris and most of Russia’s intelligentsia chose Berlin, the scholars and writers that came to then Czechoslovakia would have a far reaching intellectual influence.