PRAGUEâ€™S POST-COMMUNIST ART
Prague Travel Blog› entry 4 of 13 › view all entries
February 7th, 2009 – by: pragkid
The following collection of photography in Pragueâ€™s Post Communist Art lends itself as a walking tour through the historical city, revealing modern art which inhabit streets and parks. Prague itself is an art gallery. The art selected in this journal all date after the fall of Communism yet provide insight into Prague, Czechoslovakia and life under Communism.
Photographs of the selected works are accompanied with text concerning there connection to Soviet history allowing an educated interpretation of the works themselves. Art exposes history as history explains art.
Before moving on it is important to look back at two specific points of history in Prague, defining two phases and emotions of Communist occupation in Czechoslovakia, both events involving Soviet tanks or as they were self-referred: Peacemakers.
On May 9th 1945 the Soviet Red Army tanks arrived in Prague, concluding World War II, expelling German citizens, ending Nazi Germanyâ€™s 7 year oppressive reign in the country.
The Czechoslovakian citizens, many with tears of gratitude, welcomed the Soviet tanks. Nazi Fascism in their country had died. A couple months after the war Soviet troops left the country as it remained under strong Soviet political influence. The following July, on Kinskych Square Soviets erected a monument in memorial of their liberation of Czechoslovakia; a Soviet Tank resting on a 5-metre pedestal. The Iron Curtain was drawn over Czechoslovakia in 1948 following Communist takeover of power.
The intellectual community of Prague, artists and scholars, suffered under the totalitarian regime.
Soviet tanks would roll into Prague twice during the span of communism in the country, each drawing tears from the citizens, first of gratitude thenâ€¦
In 1967 at the 4th Czechoslovakian Writersâ€™ Congress a strong position against the regime was taken. Shortly after Alexander DubÄŤek was appointed secretary of the Communist Party and proclaimed a new phase in the cityâ€™s and countryâ€™s life, promoting freedom of the press, economic emphasis on consumer goods, and the possibility of a multi-party government. This movement of democratic reform came to be known as the Prague Spring.
The Soviet Union reacted, occupying Czechoslovakia and the capital in August 1968. Some five to seven thousand Soviet tanks invaded the streets, squashing any attempt at innovation under the treads of their tanks.
The dream of Soviet liberation from Nazi Germany had induced tears of joy. The reality sparked the intent of national reform. The nightmare following the suppression of reform induced tears of pain.
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