This is a sponsored article on behalf of Czech Centre London.
Immerse yourself in Czech culture this November, as Made in Prague Festival returns.
From classical music to independent cinema, the Czechs have a towering reputation for arts and culture. The very best is shown off each year at Made in Prague Festival, organised by Czech Centre London. Now in its 26th year, this is one of the oldest national festivals in the UK.
2022’s festival takes place in some of London’s most prominent venues, including the BFI Southbank, Cadogan Hall, Tate Modern and Rich Mix. It’s a dazzling and varied line-up, which combines highlights from Czech cultural history with contemporary Czech culture in the UK.
Discover the diversity of Czech music
The extravaganza kicks off on 1 November when the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra serves up the most iconic Czech classical music. Expect lashings of Smetana and Dvořák, including the latter’s dreamy Symphony No. 8.
As the festival shows, Czech music is infinitely diverse. Throughout the following five weeks, look out for opera (Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen), electronica (Zabelov Group, Дeva, and Late Arrivals), and jazz (Vertigo and HI5).
Explore Czech cinema
As ever, the festival also showcases the best of contemporary Czech cinema. Around a dozen movies — from black comedy, to documentary to a children’s film — will brighten screens across London and beyond.
Highlights include the “Czech answer to the American black comedy-drama hit Succession”, Olmo Omerzu’s striking film Bird Atlas, about an ageing tech CEO who refuses to relinquish the reigns of power. Elsewhere, look out for the UK premiere of Kunstkamera, a surreal film from renowned filmmaker Jan Švankmajer.
The festival also offers a taster of classic Czech cinema, with a screening of the 1929 silent gem Erotikon, screened with live piano accompaniment at BFI South Bank. Meanwhile, those with children might enjoy the spidery goings-on of the Websters Movie, followed by an art and craft session.
For those who can’t make it to the live events, three classic films will be available on BFI Player: Oscar-winning The Shop on the High Street (1965), The Devil’s Trap (1962) and Invention for Destruction (1958).
Augmented reality and more
The Czech Republic has also made many important contributions to science, as showcased at several festival venues. First, an augmented reality exhibition at 12 Star Gallery explores the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, in a fun and interactive display created with help from the Czech Technology Agency. Sticking with the environment, join Jonathan Ledgard of the Prague Artificial Intelligence Centre for a Royal Institution talk on how AI can aid conservation. You can also learn about poet and immunologist Miroslav Holub during the Science Museum’s November Lates event.
Look out also for David Böhm & Jiří Franta’s artistic displays at the Czech Centre and Embassy in Kensington Palace Gardens. The artists explore big themes: Wouldn’t it be possible to organise the planet better? Who sustains who? And can we find a way to stop living at the expense of future generations?
“This year’s festival programme centres around personal stories, experiences and commitments conveyed through a wide range of vibrant and contemporary artistic expressions,” says Přemysl Pela, Director of the Czech Centre.
From Dvořák to augmented reality, Made in Prague Festival really does show off the past, present and future of Czech culture.
Made in Prague runs at various venues across London and beyond from 1 November to 4 December 2022. Follow @LondonCzechCentre on Facebook, or @czechcentrelnd on Twitter, @czechcentrelondon on Instagram, hashtag #MadeInPrague