Czech Award Ceremony 2015
On 15 April 2015 the award ceremony for the winners of the Czech EUSTORY Competition took place in the Town Hall in Prague. Forty-three participants submitted their works to this year’s topic “The Story of a Photograph - Memory and History in Front and Behind the Lens”. The award ceremony started with the opera singer Edita Adlerová who performed different creations written by George Gershwin. The awards were presented by the famous Czech actor Zdeněk Svěrák. The students also had the opportunity to talk to Ondrej Kolínský, Czech EUSTORY Alumni from 2009.
Continuing last year’s tradition, authors of the best ten works were awarded as well as their tutors. The works varied greatly in their approach to the topic, but they all had a common starting point: a photograph. The abstract topic seems to have untied the students’ imagination. A great scale of interesting works was handed in and all participants showed an astounding degree of creativity and invention. The title of the winning work, written by Jiří Klůc, is “Music is also a Weapon”. The work describes the history of a musical platoon that accompanied Czechoslovak legionaries in Russia during and shortly after World War I.
The second prize went to Edita Studenovská and Štěpánka Marková for their entry “Sokol’s Traces in History”. The third prize was given to Daniel Žemla and his work “After the Exercise, the whole Union will be photographed”. Both entries deal with the Sokol movement and with events that happened to members of the sporting organisation “Sokol”. The Sokol movement is a youth sport movement and gymnastics organisation first founded in Prague in the Czech region of Austria-Hungary in 1862. Primarily a fitness training center, the Sokol, through lectures, discussions, and group outings provided what some people viewed as physical, moral, and intellectual training for the nation.
This training extended to men of all classes, and eventually to women. The movement also spread across all the regions populated by the Slavic culture, e.g. Poland, Serbia, Bulgaria, the Russian Empire and the rest of Austria-Hungary (e.g. Slovenia and Croatia). Though officially an institution "above politics," the Sokol played an important part in the development of Czech nationalism, providing a forum for the spread of mass-based nationalist ideologies.
All ten competition-winners as well as their tutors were awarded with various history books sponsored by different publishing houses. The first three prizes were also awarded with iPads and the possibility to publish their works in the popular historical magazine called “History and the Present”.
The ceremony finished with an informal reception followed by an excursion to the Security Services Archive where the majority of historical documents related to the Czech modern history are kept.