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Culture Minister grants state prizes for 2017

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Prague, Oct 23 (CTK) – Czech dissident writer Jachym Topol and dancer and choreographer Petr Zuzka were among the laureates of the state awards for achievements in different art disciplines that Culture Minister Daniel Herman presented at the National Theater’s New Scene on Sunday.

Topol received the state prize for literature. The jury commended in particular his new novel A Sensitive Man (Citlivy clovek) published in the spring, eight years after his previously published book.

Under the communist regime, Topol was active in the underground movement, he wrote lyrics and poetry. He was also editor-in-chief of the cultural magazine Revolver Revue, distributed illegally until 1989. After the fall of communism, he worked as an editor of the weekly Respekt and daily Lidove noviny. Now, he is the programme director of the Vaclav Havel Library.

The prize for literature is being granted annually since 1995 based on the ministry jury’s recommendation. It has a long tradition established as early as in the 1920s, during the first Czechoslovak Republic, and interrupted in 1948 after the Communist Party’s coup. It is either given for life-time achievements or for a significant original piece of Czech literature.

Petr Zuska, former head of the National Theater ballet ensemble and a two-time winner of the Thalia Czech theatre award, became a laureate of the state prize for theatre for his contribution to dance theatre.

The prize for cinematography and audiovisual arts was presented in memoriam to Jaromir Kallista and Jiri Brdecka.

Kallista promoted an amendment to the cinematography law and was a member of the State Cinematography Fund’s council, while Brdecka was extensively active as a screenwriter, artist and film-maker. He wrote scripts for dozens of films, including The Cassandra Cat (1963) awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and the musical comedy Lemonade Joe (1964), a famous parody of westerns.

Eva Kondrysova, translator from English, for instance, of books by Jane Austen, Henry Fielding, Agatha Christie and John Updike, was granted the state prize for translation in memoriam for her life-time work. Kondrysova died on September 17.

Petr Kotik, director of the Ostrava Days festival of contemporary music, received the prize for music for his work as a composer and an organiser of the cultural event that placed Czech contemporary music in the global context.

Graphic artist and typographer Jan Solpera was presented the fine art prize for his work and contribution to the field of typography.

Vera Machoninova, one of the authors of the design of Prague’s Kotva department store, received the prize for architecture.

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