Posts Tagged ‘art’


Christmas markets: hot wine, hand-made products, skating

In Culture,Winter on December 17, 2010 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , ,

The Christmas market in the city of Olomouc is traditional. A “tiny city” of wooden booths is built and vendors can move in to sell Christmas-y stuff (decorations, candles, hand-made jewelry…) and tasty “fast food” products (fried curled potatoes, hash browns) …and especially hot wine of various flavors (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). In some cities, including Olomouc, this holiday scenery is improved by a temporary ice skating rink. The one in Olomouc can take up to thirty skaters who pay a small per-hour fee. There are three rinks in Brno, but not directly next to the Christmas market(s).

In the past years, some municipalities failed to keep the markets and their organizers under control. Some booths sold underwear and pyjamas and low-quality Chinese toys. People complained, so this time it is really just Christmas-y merchandise, food and beverages and artists’ own products.


Prague Flash Mob 2010 at the main train station

In Culture,Entertainment,Music,Prague on December 2, 2010 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , ,


New regulation will ban street performances. Artists protest

In Brno,Culture,Entertainment,Music,Travel on June 4, 2010 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , , ,


Hundreds of artists, performers and ordinary people are going to protest against a new regulation in the streets of Brno on Friday afternoon. The lawmakers meant well: they wanted to get drunk individuals who beg for “some change” out of downtown Brno. The regulation would apply to drinking in public in general, i.e. to foreign tourists who would enjoy a can of beer on a park bench (even though the Mayor of the borough argued that the purpose of the regulation is not to harass tourists, a cop having a bad day could fine them…).

The regulation equally applies to buskers – i.e. to people you can find in every major city in the world. You can’t even imagine some cities without them, e.g. Kenny G.-like saxophone players near Pont Neuf in Paris.

While some cities encourage street performances because they contribute to their atmosphere, any guitar case on a sidewalk with coins in it will mean trouble for the amateur musician who does not beg. He or she just lets people decide themselves. If you like it, your kind contribution will be appreciated…

It is a common thing in the Czech Republic that laws and regulations have unwanted side effects. When a new regulation was adopted according to which it was illegal to hold a cell phone while driving, I found out that the regulation would equally apply to drivers of siren-and-light emergency vehicles en route to accidents, crime scenes etc… The same seems to be the case here… the councillors wanted to eliminate begging for money and they ended up harassing street performances.

The Mayor of the City of Brno (not to be confused with the aforementioned Mayor of the borough) admitted that should the regulation cause trouble he is prepared to amend it… How typical…


Masaryk University: Plagiarists beware! Our new program will hunt you down

In Education & Science on June 24, 2009 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , , , ,

muMasaryk Univesity in Brno has become a pioneer when it comes to fighting plagiarism. A while ago it introduced a program that can identify parts of texts that students have copied from previous works handed in at the university. Now it introduced a new web-based program called (“Hand it in”) that goes even deeper, the news server wrote.

The original program was called Theses and it could detect plagiarism in, well, theses. But the school officials found out that students cheat in minor works most often, the server wrote. However, the system will not recognize the entire Internet contents. It is impossible, MU experts say. According to TV Nova the system can check the authenticity before the assignment is handed in: students just copy their text into the system and their teachers receive an e-mail stating whether any part of the particular thesis has been “borrowed”…


Sculptures In The Streets: artists to consider removing their installations

In Brno,Culture on June 3, 2009 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , ,

Sculptures In The Streets is a name of a very interesting cultural event. The City of Brno approached several artists and ask them to install some of their works of art in the streets of Brno.

However some artists are considering removing their works of art from the streets altogether because some drunken and/or bored idiots have been damaging them. One artifact can be rolled if knocked over, which is exactly what some people did yesterday. The exhibit was found about 1 kilometer from the place of installation. These are not just any sculptures. One artist offered a set of bronze statues worth CZK 600,000 each and seeing them being damaged really pisses him off.

According to the Brnensky denik daily the statues can not be insured because they are publicly accessible. Which is why one of the artist “promised” that “if the installation sustains one tiny scratch, I am taking it back”.


Bodies Revealed: controversial exhibition on display in a mall in Brno

In Culture on June 1, 2009 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , , , ,



Let’s see what we look like inside. The Bodies travelling exhibition of dissected and preserved bodies and organs will be on display in the Olympia Mall in Brno, Czech Republic, starting tomorrow.

Naturally, two points of view collide as to whether it is “right” to organize such events. Leading Czech Roman Catholic priest, university teacher and public intellectual Tomas Halik had this to say (my rough translation):

halikI think decent people shall avoid these things. We must respect the dead and the culture of burying the dead. If we start treating human bodies as exhibition artifacts which we pay to see, that is where our civilisation starts to lose the respect.

…whereas the organizer claims that the purpose of the event is educational, the bodies are arranged in “athletic postures” to show how our bodies actually “work” and that this particular setting is in no way similar to the Berlin version where two bodies were arranged to illustrate sexual intercourse.

Ironically, you can say “yes, but…” to both gentlemen.

1) When it comes to the “respect for the dead”: we do perform autopsies, organs are removed for research purposes and transplants. So some deceased do “serve some purposes”. On the other hand, we do NOT know that the exhibits gave their consent…

2) The organizers should admit that they are doing it for money. Everybody knows it so they might as well say it. Sure, it might be more prestigious than money-making but still…they are doing it for living.

The exhibition has been heavily criticized by many people all over the world. A certain Florida DA even claimed that it was illegal. I am almost sure (I have to look up the statutory regulation first) that burying your relative outside an official cemetery is a misdemeanor, so having “dead bodies” unburied is not “illegal”…

The best way to show approval or disgust is by going/not going, i.e. by paying or not paying, i.e. by allowing the organizers to make money, or lose it…

::UPDATE:: The local organisation of the Christian Democrats urges people to boycott the exhibition. “It is symptomatic that this immoral exhibition takes place in a mall. We hope that people will realize how insensitive it is to exhibit dead bodies and that they will ignore it, Deputy Chairman David Macek, told the Brnensky denik daily.


A Night at the Museum

In Brno,Culture on May 16, 2009 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , ,


Thousands of people are in the streets of Brno tonight. Museum and galleries are going to be open until 11 p.m. for free. People can also visit fairs, wine tasting, medieval reenactments, etc. Special buses take people to cultural institutions around Brno, like the Rajhrad Monastery. The atmosphere is breathtaking…


The Brno Museum Night: free entry six to midnight and a lot to see

In Brno,Culture,Czech Tourism on May 13, 2009 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , ,

It is one of the coolest traditions cultural institutions in Brno have to offer. Every year in May, this year on May 16 (this Saturday) people can visit numerous places for free, and at night.

It is called the Brno Museum Night and it is held from six p.m. to midnight.

Galleries, museums, exhibition halls, churches… There is a HUGE exhibition devoted to Brno functionalism at the Spilberk Castle right here in Brno. Gotta see that.

The organizers promise a variety of accompanying events: seminars, painting workshops, night sky watching, fashion shows, vintage car show, sword fighting… or fireworks. And there will be some Roma fortune tellers as well.

Coming to Brno this weekend sounds like a brilliant idea.

Michal Kasparek of noticed the English version of the event website. Really helpful!

🙂 Is there any female expat out there who is not busy on Saturday evening and who would want to go? My e-mail is on the “About” page 🙂


The City of Brno to remove illegal graffiti. It will cost us two million

In Brno on April 26, 2009 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , ,

The Council of the City of Brno agreed that the municipality shall pay TWO million for the removal of illegal graffiti on buildings in 22 streets of downtown Brno. This “street art” is probably the most pointless form of  “petty crime” there is… and I would be a loud supporter of corporal punishment. I know the Czech Republic is a civilized country, but a young man who spray-paints his “tag” on a 19th century facade of a building that has recenly been renovated for 4 million (an actual example from down the street) is not civilised. I think this country would use some laws that are applicable in Singapore…


High School Musical bed clothing: is this licensed?

In Culture,Economy,Entertainment on February 23, 2009 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , , ,

This small Czech company offers pillows and other items with photos of Vanessa Anne Hudgens and Zac Effron. I must say it looks kind of suspicious because Disney does not give out licenses for its merchandise like this. One thing is putting a clip on YouTube but making money on Disney characters just isn’t right, if it isn’t actually licensed…

I think it is worth finding out and doing a news story…

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