Česká centra, Czech Centres

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7 May 2009 - 30 May 2009


Travelling exhibition based on a book THE WALL / HOW I GREW UP BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN by Peter Sís.

“James Bond, ketchup, The Beatles, basketball …those were the symbols of the ‘colourful’ West for young people growing up in Communist Czechoslovakia. We did not know anything and we imagined everything – better, as it was in reality…” (from interview with Peter Sís) 

The travelling documentary exhibition of filmmaker and author of books for children and adults Peter Sís installed copies of real street billboards, which served as agitation means of the Communist propaganda before 1989. Original drafts, illustrations, objects accompanying authentic artefacts from the 1950s until 1980s (from the pioneer’s scarf to fragments of the Berlin Wall). In ten special showcases will be presented an interesting, artistic and efficacious statement about the theme: “How we grew up and lived behind the Iron Curtain.” 

After the previous stops in Rome, Munich, Košice and Vienna the exhibition presents itself also in the Czech Centre Prague, where it will be enlarged by further exhibits, a contemporary room with reading club and jukebox, film posters and music instruments. The programme contains also a film display about the author’s animated films. Available will be also a newly published catalogue. 

Peter Sís was awarded for his book ‘The Wall’ in 2008 at the International children’s book fair in Bologna with the prestigious golden medal ‘Ragazzi Award’ for the best children’s non-fiction book published worldwide. 

Peter Sís is a well-known illustrator, graphic artist, animated filmmaker and author of books for children and adults. He was born in 1949 in Brno and grew up in Prague. He studied at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague and at the Royal College of Art in London. He lives now in New York. He is author of 22 children’s books, further he illustrated almost 50 books, shot 26 animated films, was devoted to movie posters, plastic arts and wall paintings (e.g. mosaics for the New York subway). Labyrint publishing house (edition Raketa for young readers) published following books in Czech: Strom života. Charles Darwin (Life Tree. Charles Darwin), 2004; Tibet. Tajemství červené krabičky (Tibet. Secrets of the Red Boxes), 2005; Hrej, Mozarte, hrej (Play, Mozart, Play), 2006; Tři zlaté klíče (Three Golden Keys), 2007 and Zed’. Jak jsem vyrůstal ze železnou oponou (The Wall. How I Grew Up Behind the Iron Curtain), 2007. In preparation is Podivuhodný příběh Eskymo Welzla (The Curious Case of Eskimo Welzl). 

The Wall is a totally unique book, which brings following topics closer to its young readers (and also its parents): the years 1948-1989, the era of Communism and Socialism, how life was behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia and how common people worked and what they dreamed. It is an autobiographic story about obsession with music and painting, the rule of ideology, the burden of history and the need for freedom. The coloured publication combines drawings, comic strips and authentic pictures of diaries. 




From: 7 May 2009
To: 30 May 2009


Czech Centre

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