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On homeland mythologies and empowerment: an interview with Czech film-maker Petr Václav

Just before the Barbican screening of his award-winning 2016 film We Are Never Alone, director Petr Václav took some time to frame his work in a conversation that started out with questions about Czech identity, and ended on post-truth masculinity and why We Are Never Alone is, essentially, a feminist film: women have a future,…

Julia Secklehner | 12/12/2016
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EXHIBITION REVIEW: Franciszka Themerson: Lines and Thoughts – ‘a near perfect mix of abstraction and tender humour’

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Normally, l’étrangère exhibits works by contemporary artists, but the gallery is currently focussing on Franciszka Themerson (1907-1988), a Polish-born artist who contributed to the interwar avant-garde in Poland, before eventually ending up in the UK amidst the turmoil of the Second World War. What we see at l’étrangère is Themerson’s work from the early 1950s…

Julia Secklehner | 12/12/2016
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A “Poem” for the Romanian Verse: an inspiring introduction to 1980s Romanian poetry

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‘It is always inspiring to look at a single decade of a single country and realize how absolutely varied it is’ – Sean Shibe, guitarist A panel discussion was held at the Romanian Cultural Institute regarding the new edition of ‘Poem’ magazine that consists of translated Romanian poetry. The magazine’s prolific founder, Fiona Sampson, was…

Andreea Scridon | 05/12/2016
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EXHIBITION REVIEW: ‘AutopsiA – Thanatopolis’ at the Horse Hospital

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Exhibition AutopsiA – Thanatopolis takes place at The Horse Hospital and briefly presents the aesthetics of mysterious AutopsiA – a group founded in the late 1970s in London by an anonymous band of artists and musicians who later brought its activities to a small town in Serbia, before relocating to Prague during the break-up and…

Denis Stolyarov | 22/11/2016
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MADE IN PRAGUE PREVIEW: ‘Family Film’ (Omerzu, 2015) – perhaps best kept in the family

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Described as ‘a fusion between black comedy and drama’, Olmo Omerzu’s Family Film (2015) slowly unravels the superficial layers of a near-perfect wealthy family living in Prague, which falls apart as the parents go sailing in Asia with dog Otto, leaving behind their two children, grown-up Anna and her 15-year-old brother Erik. Moving from everyday…

Julia Secklehner | 22/11/2016
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BONE MUSIC: Recording Communism at the ICA

Resistance to dominant political forces can come in many forms. A small audience at the ICA on Sunday was treated to two excellent discussions about two forms of resistance in the former Soviet bloc and Romania. At the heart of both stories are illegal bootlegging and the remarkable ingenuity people find when faced with censorship…

Jo Varney | 20/11/2016