Saturday, 16 December 2017

LN: Project mapping people born in 1918 lacks funds

ČTK |
7 December 2017

Prague, Dec 7 (CTK) - The organisers of the Czech documentary project "Birthday 1918", marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of Czechoslovakia in the same year, waited for the delayed decision on a subsidy from May only to learn that they will not receive it, daily Lidove noviny (LN) wrote on Wednesday.

The government, which had set up a working group composed of representatives of several Czech ministries, was postponing the discussion of the project. It finally issued its decision through the Culture Ministry, the leader of the group, declining to co-fund the project.

The project's author, Pavel Chalupa, who took five years to elaborate a detailed script and amassed other materials, such as handwritten letters by the people born in 1918, told LN it was a disgrace.

The reason for declining the support was that subsidies for projects connected with the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia's foundation will be provided only to state-controlled organisations, LN writes.

The documentary cycle consisting of 12 episodes was to map the fates of people born in 1918. However, 23 of the 73 people who will be 100 years old next year and who were involved in the project have died in the meantime. It was to portray the stories of the 100-year-olds on the background of the historical events.

"The project's main artistic and historical goal was to find all citizens born in 1918 who are still living on the territory of [former] Czechoslovakia and to win them over for some form of cooperation, to try to document not only their destinies, but also the story of the Czechoslovak state, as well as to define the ideals of the 1918 generation entering an unstable era of Europe's history, and to explore the phenomenon of their high age at the same time," Chalupa told LN.

The artistic documentary series' shooting was to begin in November this year and it was to be complemented by exhibitions and publications.

Chalupa, who is now facing a gap of 20 million crowns in the project's budget, will probably have to back away from the generous extent of the project.

There are other projects impacted by the decision as well that were originally included in the government's concept for the anniversary's celebrations, LN writes.

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