Journal of Ethnology 4/2020

Journal of Ethnology 4/2020 deals with the theme “Folklorism of the 21st Century”. Teresa Smolińska focusses on cultural traditions of the German minority living in Upper Silesia in Poland (Modern Cultural Traditions of the Germans in Silesia: towards folklorism). Andrej Mentel deals with the cultural memory in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its strengthening based on newly composed folk music (Folklorism and Culture of Memory in Contemporary Bosnia and Herzegovina). Jiří Čevela presents the research into cimbalom music bands in the Uherské Hradiště area (Contemporary Tendencies of Cimbalom Music Bands in the Uherské Hradiště Area) and Jarmila Teturová submits the research into the current condition of the verbuňk dance in the ethnographic area of Podluží (The Influence of the Contest for the Best Dancer of Slovácko Verbuňk on the Existence and Form of the Verbuňk Dance in the Ethnographic Area of Podluží). Bronislav Stupňánek and Martina Ireinová write about current expressions of dialects in the ethnographic area of Haná (The Second Life of Dialects: Central Middle-Moravian Dialects Used in Public Speaking, and the “Hanakian Revival”).
The Transforming Tradition column pays attention to the Slovácko verbuňk dance as an expression of folklorism (written by Anna Jagošová). Review Section commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of the folklorist Antonín Satke (written by Jana Pospíšilová). Social Chronicle remembers the jubilees of the ethnologist Jan Krist (born 1950), the cultural anthropologist Zdeněk Salzmann (born 1925), and the cultural professional and choreographer Eva Rejšková (born 1930); it publishes an obituary for the Slovak folklorist and ethnologist Ján Michálek (1932-2020). Further regular columns include reports on conferences and disciplinary projects, and reviews of new books.

Modern Cultural Tradition of the Germans in Silesia: Towards Folklorism

The authoress focuses her research on the spontaneous development of specific cultural events among the Germans in Upper Silesia, which testifies to the increase in their sense of value of their own culture and to changes in their manifestation of national awareness and identity. They try to reconstruct many forms of German cultural heritage in this region that serve already different functions in the contemporary culture and, therefore, they are typical of folklorism, i.e. popular culture. The revival of ‘German folk tradition’ after the political transformation in Poland in 1989 is stimulated not only by artistic folk groups but also by individuals who copy selected parts of traditional middle-class culture in Germany, e.g. Martinfest, Oktoberfest, Weihnachtsmarkt, Rosenmontag, and popularise their trivialised forms in which ludic and integrative functions prevail. The Easter Bunny (Osterhase) deserves a special mention in post-war Upper Silesia. Searching for gifts brought by the Easter Bunny, so popular among the indigenous inhabitants of this region, may be regarded as a regional ‘lesson’ to be learnt but it lacks, however, the place for remembrance of old spring rites and magic rituals associated with them. Having only a superficial nature and serving a ludic function, the reconstruction meets all the criteria of folklorism, which shows that consumerist culture exerts an overwhelming influence. Amongst the parties fashionable recently that are organised by young women in several towns in Opole Silesia, where German minorities tend to predominate, the authoress points to Rosenmontag, i.e. a costume ‘ball’ aspiring – despite little similarity – to traditional carnival parades in German cities (Köln, Mainz, Düsseldorf). Both examples selected from the German heritage (Rosenmontag) and presented against other forms of German tradition preserved in Silesia accurately represent the folklorisation of the tradition.

Folklorism and Culture of Memory in Contemporary Bosnia and Herzegovina

Diverse aspects of folklorism in the countries of former Yugoslavia are a subject-matter of long-term ethnologic and folkloristic research. One of the important themes touches the relation between newly composed folk music (NCFM) and aggressive nationalistic propaganda, as well as further aspects of this genre. The NCFM is a genre of commercial music that developed in the former Yugoslavia from the 1960s and that refers to folk sources in its texts and musical construction. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was sevdalinka, a specific genre of urban music folklore, that have become one of NCFM sources. Sevdalinka has become one of the elements of the “orientalising” hetero-stereotypes of Bosniaks and Bosnian Muslim culture as the one that “essentially differs” from the cultures of other nations living in the former Yugoslavia. It has been insufficiently researched to date how the Bosniak collective memory is currently constructed through the NCFM. On an example of particular commemorative events, the study shows how a certain image of Bosniak history is created and supported by using the NCFM.

Contemporary Tendencies of Cimbalom Music Bands in the Uherské Hradiště Area

The study deals with the reflection of contemporary tendencies of cimbalom music bands in the Uherské Hradiště area. It informs about artistic approaches, forms of presentation, as well as about the character of activities of thirty-seven cimbalom music bands, which work in the Uherské Hradiště area (ethnographic area of Slovácko). This region, the ethnographic boundaries of which are defined at the beginning of the text, is considered to be promising for the above-mentioned reflection mainly due to the long-term tradition and the number of cimbalom music bands. Against the background of the cultural and historical development in the Uherské Hradiště area, it is possible to observe different tendencies in music bands´ approach to the folk song, and in their societal engagement, which are two perspectives, crucial for the typologization. Within these perspectives, the author defines six tendencies which mingle and supplement each other in musical attitude and productions of particular cimbalom music bands. From the perspective of the approach to the folk song, three general tendencies are elaborated – reconstruction, stylization, and fusion of genres. The societal engagement includes cooperation with groups which are active in folklorism, concerts, and spontaneous music-making, whereby these tendencies show different intensity of commercialization.

The Influence of the Contest for the Best Dancer of Slovácko Verbuňk on the Existence and Form of the Verbuňk Dance in the Ethnographic Area of Podluží

The study submits results of the first stage of research on the influence of the Contest for the Best Dancer of Slovácko verbuňk on the existence and form of the verbuňk dance with focus on the current situation in the ethnographic area of Podluží. The Contest has been organized at the International Folklore Festival Strážnice every year since 1986, and since 2005 is has been part of safeguarding measures for verbuňk as an element inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The authoress presents results of field search conducted among three groups of respondents in Podluží, meaning contemporaries (former dancers regardless their participation in the Contest), local authorities directly connected with the Contest (successful participants in the Contest), and young active dancers who dance verbuňk at the Contest and also at usual dance occasions. Respondents´ opinions prove the influence of the Contest on the popularization and promotion of verbuňk in the field, and they draw attention to the issue of interventions in the natural development of regional style. The mentioned findings will be used to compare results from further stages of the research, which are conducted in other sub-regions of the ethnographic area of Slovácko.

The Second Life of Dialects: Central Middle-Moravian Dialects Used in Public Speaking and the “Hanakian Revival”

Since the turn of the 21st century, a considerably increasing interest in local dialects in Czech regions with traditionally strong regional identity can be observed. This interest seems to be a response to the current rapid decline of dialects and deep disparity between languages spoken by the oldest and the youngest generations. The reaction thereon includes active efforts to maintain or even renew the dialects. However, it is private spoken communication that is the most natural field for dialects and therefore the effort for public coverage and the appeal to wide regional audience inevitably leads to the fact that the dialects get into the context and functions which are not typical for them or which are completely new (dialect textbooks and courses, websites and news portals in dialects, dialect texts of songs from modern musical genres etc.). Although this phenomenon shares common features in almost the entire territory of our traditional territorial dialects, the most frequent occurrence of it can be observed in the area where central Middle-Moravian dialects are spoken. In accordance with the explicitly expressed intention of those who spread the dialects in this region, the authors of the study call the above-mentioned phenomenon “the Hanakian Revival”.

Journal of Ethnology 3/2020 focusses on the contemporary countryside. Přemysl Mácha deals with multi-cultural coexistence in the Těšín area, mainly from linguistic perspective (Bilingual Signs in the Těšín Area, or the Těšín Countryside as an Experiment with Plurality). Juraj Janto pays attention to the study of Slovak rural localities near large cities in the second half of the 20th century (Rural Localities in the Hinterland of Large Cities in Slovakia: from the research on suburban municipalities near Bratislava). Katarína Koštialová deals with the importance of the folklore festival in the Slovak village of Hrušov in relation to the particular locality and its inhabitants (The Hont Parade Festival – a Positive Example of the Marginalised Village of Hrušov). Margita Jágerová analyses cultural and social activities in selected villages in Slovakia (Inspirational Sources of Cultural and Social Events and Celebrations in Current Rural Environment / on the example of the villages of Vlachovo, Soblahov, Malé Dvorníky, and Liptovská Teplička). The text by Martin Novotný about rural architecture and the role of untrained artisans (Untrained Artisans /called autodidacts/ as Bearers of Traditional Techniques (with regard to building tradition in the lowland-house area in Moravia and Slovakia) has been included out of the theme.
The Transforming Tradition column publishes a text by Marta Ulrychová about the history of the Postřekov Folk Ensemble, one of the oldest Czech folk ensembles. In Review Section, Martina Pavlicová commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Moravian ethnochoreologist Zdenka Jelínková (1920– 2005), and Oldřich Kašpar remembers 125 years since the birth of the Ibero-Americanist and linguist Čestmír Loukotka (1895–1966). Interview Section is dedicated to the life anniversary of Věra Kapeller, a Czech ethnologist living and working in Austria (born 1950). Social Chronicle remembers the jubilees of the folklorists Milan Leščák (born 1940) and Marta Šrámková (born 1935), and it publishes an obituary for the ethnologist Renata Zemanová (1927–2020). Further regular columns include reports on conferences and festivals, and reviews of specialized literature.

Bilingual Signs in the Těšín Region or the Těšín Countryside as an Experiment with Plurality

The article focuses on conflicts in the Těšín countryside which have arisen in the last fifteen years in reaction to the introduction of bilingual, Czech-Polish signs. The topic is analyzed in the context of the politics of toponymy and debates about integration models in multi-cultural societies. The text offers a brief summary of selected research findings based on the analysis of linguistic landscape, media discourse, and opinion of local inhabitants, municipal representatives and members of Polish organizations obtained through interviews and questionnaires. The research showed that bilingual signs played an important role in Czech-Polish relations in the Těšín region. Although the media supported the introduction of bilingual signs, most people declaring Czech nationality opposed them even after more than a decade of their presence. Most commonly, opponents emphasized the need for the Polish minority to assimilate into the Czech majority society. Attempts of Polish minority to introduce bilingual signs have failed in many municipalities while in others they have succeeded only partially. Only a handful of municipalities introduced bilingual signs beyond their legal requirements, opening thus doors to a genuine multicultural community.

Rural Localities in the Hinterland of Large Cities in Slovakia: from the research on suburban municipalities near Bratislava

The so-called hinterlands of cities constitute one of the important categories of rural localities; these are municipalities that are connected with a nearby city through employment and other activities of their inhabitants. Many of them are part of the suburbanization process with growing residential housing and growing population tied to the urban settlement. The process of (modern) suburbanization in Slovakia appeared in the second half of the 1990s, most markedly near Bratislava and in the vicinity of other larger cities. This category of municipalities is growing in size and number and it is thus becoming an increasingly important phenomenon of rural (or rural-urban) settlement. Qualitative (ethnographic) research on these villages in Slovakia is still in its infancy. In our research on two localities near Bratislava we focused on finding out the level and form of relations between local old inhabitants and new settlers. We also noticed the motivation of new residents to move to the village. We obtained data from the declared statements of informants in an ethnographic interview. Their analysis showed that contacts between the two groups occur randomly and sporadically, and their form is formal and courtesy. The most frequent factors for moving into the village were the price of the house, the desire to live in a “green” and peaceful rural environment, and the feeling of privacy and freedom.

The Hont Parade Festival – a Positive Example of the Marginalised Village of Hrušov

The study, which is result of the ethnological research conducted periodically since 2017, identifies factors which entered the process of the successful establishment of the Hont Parade Festival in Hrušov (Slovakia). At the same time, it demonstrates to what extent the festival has influenced the village and its citizens. In addition, the study outlines potential threats related to the locality and festival. Hrušov (the 2013 winner of the Village of the Year award) lies in a marginalised locality, which on one hand devalues the local community; on the other hand it motivates the local community towards social cohesion and cooperation. It appears that it is local citizens, community, exceptional leaders and generational coexistence, as well as intergenerational transmission of cultural values that constitute essential factors of the resilience against unfavourable determinants. All the above-mentioned aspects can be considered to be main determinants in establishing and sustaining the festival of national importance. The festival presents a particular form of local community representation, it is a marketing tool, and it is involved in creating the image and brand of the village and region. Simultaneously, it is an important factor of the change which leads to the openness to the benefit of the village and its inhabitants. The festival brings some negative points, the main ones being the strain on the village environment and the decreasing number of inhabitants.

Inspirational Sources of Cultural and Social Events and Celebrations in Current Rural Environment (on the example of the villages of Vlachovo, Soblahov, Malé Dvorníky, and Liptovská Teplička)

The study provides a comparative analysis of current forms of the all-year-round cultural and social festivities on the example of four selected villages. It tries to define the basic sources of inspiration for these events, the factors influencing this sphere, and it also seeks identical and different elements in this area and the possibility of using the “societal capital” (human, social and cultural) of each municipality in these activities. The basic source of inspiration for most socio-cultural events includes the local folk culture with the traditional annual cycle being the main part of it; in several cases, the annual cycle is tied to church holidays. In recent decades, events dedicated to children, or more precisely families with children, mothers and pensioners have become a kind of "cultural and social constants" not only in the rural but also in the urban environment. The research confirmed the residents' lack of interest in celebrating the state and political events. Especially in suburban areas, the import of new globalized phenomena is more evident, whereby the more isolated villages have better conditions to develop their local traditional culture. The article presents several findings regarding the “societal” capital, especially the unequal use of human and cultural capital in the monitored villages, and it also emphasizes the importance of residents’ activism and support to this area by local governments, and the creation of the best possible conditions for cultural background and infrastructure.

Autodidacts as Bearers of Traditional Techniques (with regard to building tradition in the lowland-house area in Moravia and Slovakia)

The essay explains the background for rural buildings in the territory of former Czechoslovakia (Moravia, Slovakia). This concerns mainly the period beginning with the second half of the 19th century until the 1980s. The theme is infrequent in ethnology, which is also confirmed by the amount of relevant literature. The text takes into account the production of building elements and the portion of self-help (the participation of family members and neighbours in civil works). The text also outlines the word náturista  autodidact, an untrained rural builder and the transformation of its meaning over time. In the case of traditional techniques tied mostly to work with unburnt clay, the essay also mentions the background for their decline, limited performance, and short-lived rebirth in the early second half of the 20th century. The knowledge relating to the maintenance of old earth buildings survived in the researched area until the late 1970s, and it suddenly ceased to exist with the death of the last bearers of this tradition. The essay also pays attention to an interesting phenomenon, meaning the self-help home production of breeze blocks. This phenomenon was typical for rural architecture in Czechoslovakia beginning with the 1960s.

Journal of Ethnology 2/2020 deals with the theme “Ethnological Perspectives of Tourism”. Martin Klement and Renata Mauserová pay attention to the media image of the Lake Mácha area in northern Bohemia (The Image of the Town of Doksy in the First Half of the Twentieth Century). Dana Bittnerová investigates the memories of journeys to Romania in the era of Socialism, which were motivated by discovering the forest railways (Tourism of Czech Railfans – Remembering the Journeys to Romania in the 1980s). Sarah Scholl-Schneider focusses on two places where Germans who were forcibly displaced from Sudetenland and Silesia meet (“A Piece of Homeland”. Haus Schlesien and Heiligenhof as Contact Tourist Zones). Olga Radčenko deals with Soviet and post-Soviet politics of memory in Ukraine in relation to the Second World War (Memorials of the “Great Patriotic War“ in Soviet Ukraine as a Resource of Tourism). The study written by Martin Sítek, which is published out of the theme, deals with Shrovetide door-to-door processions (The Phenomenon of Revived Shrovetide Door-to-Door Processions in Selected Locations in the South-Moravian Region).
The Transforming Tradition column publishes an ethnological reflection by Petr Salner about celebrating the Jewish festival of Passover during the coronavirus crisis. In Review Section, Oldřich Kašpar presents a short essay “Alberto Vojtěch Frič, Čerwuiš Pišoád, and Jaroslav Hašek”. Jana Pospíšilová held an interview with the ethnologist Andrej Sulitka (born 1945) on the occasion of his life anniversary. Social Chronicle remembers the jubilee of the ethnologist Karel Altman (born 1960), and it publishes obituaries for the ethnologist Zuzana Marhoulová (1944–2020) and the ethnologist and traveller Miloslav Stingl (1930–2020). Further regular columns include reports on conferences and exhibitions, and review of new books.

The Image of the Town of Doksy in the First Half of the Twentieth Century

The north-Bohemian town of Doksy together with its hamlet called Staré Splavy and the adjacent Velký Rybník Big Pond – Lake Mácha today – changed into an important tourist region at the turn of the 20th century. In order to invite as many visitors as possible, promotional materials were issued in large quantities, whose authors constructed, through texts and pictures, a very attractive image of the town of Doksy. The focus of the study is to find out what the nature of the motifs that created this image was, and in what respect it distinguished from the everyday reality of the town. Based on an analysis of advertisements, guidebooks, leaflets, and postcards, it is possible to say that from the early 20th century until the 1940s, Doksy was promoted as a picturesque spa town, situated amidst clean nature with healing effects. According to data in chronicles and unpublished archival sources, however, the visitors to Doksy had to face numerous problems, such as high prices, noise, untidiness, non-functioning spa facilities, and low quality of offered services. The data and pictures from the former promotional materials are still uncritically used in memory and popular-educational texts even today. The media image from the first half of the 20th century continues to have a considerable influence on how the pre-war and interwar Doksy is perceived.

Tourism of Czech Railfans – Remembering the Journeys to Romania in the 1980s

The text investigates the nature of remembering the journeys of a selected group of railfans to Romanian forest railways in the 1980s. It interconnects the concepts of tourism and memory anthropology. The memories of historical railway tourism became a permanent part of travellers´ generational statements through which they not only negotiate their group identity, but also acknowledgement. Narrations about journeys for a visit to forest railway and their performance are situated in a mutual dialogue of the communicative and the cultural memory. From the perspective of the content, the shared memory refers beyond the frameworks which are relevant for contemporaries. The contemporaries associate their journeys to Romania with the categories of disappeared authenticity (“disappeared paradise” of steam traction), exotics, Balkanism, shortage in the realm of consumption, and criticism of limited motion and travelling in the era of socialism. The motif of the Iron Curtain contrasts with the globalized world imagination, which is established by technoscape. The memory frameworks are entered by travellers´ young age and adventures tied to it. The adventure and the experience of authenticity are able to maintain the memories of the journeys for forest railways in the communicative memory and to produce cultural memory.

“A Piece of Homeland” Haus Schlesien and Heiligenhof as Contact Tourist Zones

The study deals with two places intended for education and meeting of Germans forcibly displaced from Sudetenland and Silesia, meaning the houses Heiligenhof in Bad Kissingen and Haus Schlesien (Silesia House) in Königswinter. Both houses are important components in the wide field of the culture of remembrance of the past of Germans and German minorities in Eastern Europe, as well as of the flight and forcible displacement. Although the houses were established by two groups of those forcibly displaced for their own needs, their influence extends beyond their borders – not only due to their reminding and remembering nature, but mostly due to their tourist character, because today anyone can spend holiday there. The study investigates how both houses present themselves as tourist destinations towards various target groups – those forcibly displaced, the Polish and Czech visitors, as well as uninvolved travellers. The capturing of actors’ tourist practices (mainly the present treatment of the past), as these were observed during the field research, shows that both houses can be interpreted as contact zones formed both by consensus and by conflict. For this reason, they are able to provide (inter-cultural) mediation through their tourist function. Because likewise travels made by those forcibly displaced to their old homeland in Eastern Europe, which drew ethnologists´ attention several years ago, these houses are, from the perspective of tourism, an impulse to thematise the homeland / fatherland and affiliation.

Memorials of the “Great Patriotic War” in Soviet Ukraine as a Resource of Tourism

Since Ukraine achieved independence in 1991, the controversial politics of memory has influenced, in relation to heroes, accomplices, and victims, not only building of memorials but also different perception of them, which ranges from veneration to vandalism. This essay focusses on Soviet politics of memory in Ukraine with respect to the Second World War, and its influence on tourism. The project is aimed at analysing the role of Soviet discourse about the war, while presenting tragic historical events in museums and memorial sites which are important resources for tourism. Documents from archives of the Communist Party of Ukraine and the Soviet travel agency Intourist were assessed. In the case of this essay, determinant is the fact that tourism and commemorative practices as cultural and social phenomena related to the Second World War intertwine and influence each other.

The Phenomenon of Revived Shrovetide Door-to-Door Processions in Selected Locations in the South-Moravian Region

The article presents results of the research into selected revived Shrovetide door-to-door processions in the South-Moravian Region (Velké Pavlovice, Šakvice, Bzenec, Mutěnice, Poštorná, and Ladná). The research was conducted by the Strážnice National Institute of Folk Culture in the years 2018 and 2019. The research was based on the study on archival and contemporary media sources, interviews, and a questionnaire survey; it was supplemented with the method of participant observation. The objective of the research was to describe a typical form of the door-to-door processions, the transformation in their functions, and the motivation of the organizers to organize them. The revival of the Shrovetide door-to-door processions culminate in the observed region these days, and the processions quite progressively spread to new locations. Some of the above locations have organized the door-to-door processions for more than ten years. As shown by the answers of particular organizers, the Shrovetide door-to-door processions function as self-realization, conscious safeguarding and development of local traditions (or the formation thereof with the reference to the past), and sense of belonging to a community. Although many of them only hardly continue the former local folk tradition, which lost its function and continuity due to the influence of historical events, they include many elements typical for folk culture in a particular region or location.

Journal of Ethnology 1/2020 deals with the theme “Ethnology and Anthropology through the Movie Camera”. Lucie Česálková focuses on Czech inter-war ethnographic films (Otherness as a Mirror: ethnographic perspective in the Czech inter-war non-fiction film), Petr Bednařík pays attention to films and socialist propaganda in the early 1950s (Depiction of the Countryside in the Czech Film in the Early 1950s on the Example of the Film Slepice a kostelník [The Hen and the Sexton]). Milan Kruml monitors the period production of the Czechoslovak Television in the then unfree society in relation to the presentation of folklore (Folklore as an Escape? Programmes with folklore content broadcasted by the Czechoslovak Television at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s). Tomáš Petráň analyses stereotypes in the realm of film from the perspective of anthropology (Ethnic and Gender Stereotypes in James Bond Film Series). The text about field research by Andrej Sulitka is published out of the theme (Folk Ensembles of National Minorities in the Czech Lands, and Majority Folklore Movement. / On the example of a selected sample of ensembles and their activities after the Second World War/).

The Research Methods column publishes a reflection essay on the role of ethnographic film in current presentation of traditional folk culture (written by Aleš and Vít Smrčka) and a text concerning the development in colour photographic processes and documentation of folk clothing (written by Helena Beránková and Jan Benedík). Social Chronicle publishes congratulations to the jubilees of the ethnologist Anna Divičanová/Gyivicsán (born 1940), the ethnologist and documentarist Vlasta Svobodová (born 190) and the ethnologist Daniel Luther (born 1950), and an obituary for the ethnomusicologist Brno Nettl (1930-2020). Further regular columns include reports on conferences, exhibitions and publication activities.

Otherness as a Mirror: Ethnographic perspective in the Czech inter-war non-fiction documentary

Czech ethnographic film emerged in the inter-war period thanks to the then simultaneous expansion of the film as an instrument of scientific knowledge, and of the motoring. The connection of film and car was significant for it. The car made it possible to travel to unknown countries more easily and freely, and the film documented local nature and indigenous people; however, films also were to promote the car manufacturer that delivered cars for such a journey. As a genre, the Czech ethnographic film developed at the boundary between the travel, expedition and promotional films. For this reason, in that era one should rather speak about an ethnographic perspective mediated by the film, and its role in the wider context of visual culture in the inter-war Czechoslovakia. Based on the analysis of three most distinctive films (Gari-Gari, K Mysu dobré naděje To the Cape of Good Hope, and Šest žen hledá Afriku Six Women Are Searching for Africa), the study shows in a wider context of society-wide debates, that in the Czech context the ethnographic perspective brought the awareness of exotic otherness on one hand, and on the other hand it contributed to the updating of local socio-cultural problems. Despite their own nature of the ethnographic “otherness”, the movies a priori made the ditochomy civilized-uncivilized more visible, and they reflected how particular cultural differences were rooted in the domestic society. In this way, the ethnographic film revealed certain aspects of “uncivilized behaviour” in the contemporary Czech context.

Depiction of the Countryside in the Czech Film in the Early 1950s on the Example of the Film Slepice a kostelník [The Hen and the Sexton]

Czechoslovak film Slepice a kostelník [The Hen and the Sexton] was premiered in 1951. Its directors Oldřich Lipský and Jan Strejček made the film based on a theatre play by Jaroslav Zrotal. The movie is an example in which way the then Czechoslovak communist propaganda depicted the Czech countryside of that time. The film included topics accentuated by the totalitarian propaganda – the fight against acts of sabotage, the importance of collectivization of the agricultural sector, the worker-peasant alliance, and the task of young generation. Simultaneously, the movie worked with the expressions of folk culture, when it was shot in the ethnographic area of Slovácko (in the Uherský Brod environs). The creators used local folk costumes and folklore (folk songs and dances). Prague actors tried to speak local dialect of the Slovácko region. The film can be placed in the context of the then Czechoslovak cinematography, which, based on the resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia from April 1950, was supposed to deal mainly with ongoing topics of the then society, and to capture them in the spirit of socialist realism.

Folklore as an Escape? Programmes with folklore content broadcasted by the Czechoslovak Television at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s

The article monitors the Czechoslovak Television broadcast at the time of totalitarian regime, meaning at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s, when the number of programmes with folklore content increased alongside with the growing television offer. These programmes were produced mainly by the Bratislava studio, and a part of them were broadcasted also outside the Slovak broadcasting range. After 1969, when the second channel was launched and simultaneously many planned programmes were cancelled and many already produced programmes were archived for ideological reasons, the offer of folklore considerably increased in television broadcast. For several creators, folklore (even though in a form resembling rather music and entertainment shows) was a welcomed topic due to which they were not forced to become involved in current affairs programmes and documentary production at the time of normalization. It was especially the Brno studio that was active in this regard. Due to the shortage of capacity, this studio had to make the considerably part of its production in exteriors, and folk music, folk costumes and traditions became an interesting background for entertainment and a theme for current affairs programmes, especially after the television started broadcasting in colour. During the monitored period, the production of programmes with folklore content increased in the Ostrava studio as well. This was not a result of a conceptual decision or an intention of the Czechoslovak Television to record folklore in particular regions of the Czech Republic, but a personal initiative of people who wanted to work for the television, but not at any cost.

Ethnic and Gender Stereotypes in James Bond Film Series

The article demonstrates mutual interconnection between the ongoing social discourse and narratives of popular culture over the last fifty years on the example of film series with protagonist James Bond. The chosen method that combines the multi-disciplinary approach to the analysis with the contextualisation of a pop-cultural text is aimed at demonstrating the possibilities of visual anthropology in the realm of social and cultural analysis. The texts highlights the examples when an artistic narrative is controlled by diverse types of social dispositive and the resulting art text also forms and determines the way of thinking about bases of social discourse. The social discourse practice and the pop-cultural narratives are addressed in a dialectic symbiosis: depiction of relationship between man and woman, frequency of sexual intercourse or its absence in a narrative, way of depicting the “otherness”, and ethnicity and nationality of characters are signs that reflect geopolitical situation, types of global threat, social taboo and imperatives, stratification of the society, and ideals of lifestyle. Simultaneously, the above signs spread and strengthen the depicted stereotypes in pop-cultural texts. The reflection and reproduction of social reality dissolve in the pop-culture, and as a consequence, they influence the behaviour and ways of thinking, the product of which they are.

Folk Ensembles of National Minorities in the Czech Lands and Folklore Movement. (On the example of a selected sample of ensembles and their activities after the Second World War)

The study points out the dissimilarity of minority folk ensembles and groups in the Czech Republic to the mainstream of ensembles in folklore movement of the majority society after the Second World War. The text is based on knowledge gained in the field research, conducted in the years 2018 and 2019, meaning interviews with leaders and former members of selected minority folk ensembles. From the present-day composition of the “acknowledged” national minorities in the Czech Republic (Belarusian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Hungarian, German, Polish, Roma, Ruthenian, Russian, Greek, Slovak, Serbian, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese), the research sample focuses, due to the limited scope of the paper, on four minorities (Polish, Slovak, Ruthenian, and German), which provide a relevant starting point for the theme. Activity of particular folk ensembles and groups is inherent in association activities of all national minorities. In contrast to folk ensembles of the majority society, the common denominator in most minority ensembles is their efforts to have effect on the safeguarding of cultural traditions of minority societies as one of the dominating attributes of their identity.