Our grantees| Eva Strnadová| They know about us (and about you)
1. March 2019 Eva Strnadová

They know about us (and about you)

You cannot avoid questions about your nationality during a long stay abroad. The reactions are divided into the following categories according to the age and knowledge of the person, with whom we are speaking. It is useful to prepare a concise history of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia for anyone who thinks that you have mistaken the name of your country. There is a numerous group of people, which even consists of those born after the fall of the Iron Curtain. They nevertheless see the Czech Republic as a part of Russia. To destroy myths about the script, language and the location of national borders. Yes, we do not use the Cyrillic script, we do not speak Russian and Russia is not a neighbour of the Republic.

I currently undertake an internship in the Czech Centre in Paris. The Centre successfully contributes to the destruction of these and other mistaken ideas about the Czech Republic. There are multiple types of internships available such as the locations of Czech Centres. Daily tasks consist of administration, welcoming people at the reception and help with organisation of evening events. The internships offers a unique opportunity to work in a dynamic Czech-French team ables me to meet  and a possibility to meet leading Czech artists who present themselves in the Centre. This work in the sphere of cultural diplomacy of the Czech Embassy and the office of Czechtourism. These three institutions offer internships that enable you to discover a lot about the Czech reputation and actively contribute to its creation.

The Czech culture is not only represented by Czech institutions. Parisian audience, in my humble opinion, is more interested in Czech art more than the British audience. To illustrate, an exposition of works done by Alphonse Mucha in Musée du Luxembourg and the opera Rusalka in Opéra Bastille. If visitors are familiar with these leading artists of Czech art, they discover expositions of current artists as Anna Huláčová who presented her work in Palais de Tokyo. The French perspective offers a new French adaptation and new perspective.

An active représentation of the Czech Republic does not have to be done solely in the Czech institutions in foreign countries. The internship is nevertheless an important tool to spread a word about you and your home country. To illustrate, ERIAC in Berlin ( the European Roma Institute for Art and Culture) offers an opportunity to change the perception of the Czech treatment of its minorities. You can commit yourself to volunteering in your free time. The Czech Centre in London and Centre LGBT offer these possibilities.

Fortunately, there are many people who are interested in and promote the Czech Republic. If a class of thirty students of history at the University Sorbonne does not clearly know what is the Munich Agreement, there is still a lot of work to be done. Unconcern of history of all members of the European Union is responsible for current misunderstandings and a repetition of previous injustice.

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