Saturday, April 28, 2012

Radio Prague Today 4.28.2012

Articles posted today

A taste of Prague spring for an actor in Egypt's revolution

It was apt that one of the participants in this year's Prague Writers' Festival was the Egyptian novelist Hamdy el-Gazzar, who played an active part in the dramatic events last spring on Cairo's Tahrir Square. It is no coincidence that the revolutions across North Africa and the Middle East came to be known as the "Arab Spring", taking their name from events in Czechoslovakia – the Prague Spring – over forty years earlier. You do not have to look far to find parallels between the atmosphere of then and now, and the events of '68 are also a warning that not every popular uprising ends happily. David Vaughan talks to Hamdy el-Gazzar about his experience as a writer and journalist.

"Hooligans and swindlers": the communist regime and the Plastic People

In the 1970s the communist authorities tolerated popular music as long as it was insipid, colourless and unoriginal – everything that the Czech psychedelic rock band The Plastic People of the Universe most definitely was not. Their music was inspired by Frank Zappa and The Velvet Underground, their lyrics anarchic, their behaviour unconventional and their hair long. In 1976 four members of the band were sentenced to prison terms for what was described as "organised disturbance of the peace", and in December of the same year Czechoslovak Radio broadcast a documentary that painted the band in the darkest possible colours and included extracts from their music, recorded secretly at their concerts.

Magazine 28.4.2012

In this edition of Magazine: a security guard hand-cuffs himself by accident; a man is arrested after failing to notice that his passport contains an inconceivable expiry date and Brno tests a pissoir for dogs.