Apr 10, 2024

Franz Kafka Year Kicks Off in Prague with Diverse Cultural Program

The City of Prague has joined forces with Prague City Tourism and the Prague Municipal Library to launch the Franz Kafka Year, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the author’s death.

A rich program of events aimed at both children and adults has been curated, encompassing film, literature, theater, and music.

A special website has been launched to provide information about the program’s offerings for Prague residents. Additionally, a “Kafka tram” adorned with illustrations by Czech artist Simona Lore will travel through the city throughout the year.

Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda emphasizes the importance of commemorating Kafka’s legacy and the indelible mark he left on the city. “We are committed to preserving the capital’s historical and cultural heritage,” he states. “This celebration of Franz Kafka is a unique event, and I believe it will resonate with both Prague residents and visitors from all over the Czech Republic and abroad.”

The program features a project by illustrator Magdalena Jetelová titled “Franz Kafka-Elevation,” which showcases a striking visual transformation of the New Mill Water Tower (Novomlýn) in Prague 1 with engaging illustrations. This project represents a unique fusion of visual art and literature, with Prague contributing CZK 1.2 million to its realization.

Beyond this project, the city is supporting 14 additional projects. These include theatrical productions such as “Kafka has left the building” at the Zábradlí Theatre and “Kafka’s Cause” by the Prague Chamber Ballet.

Exhibitions and publications are also part of the program, with partnerships established with the Jewish Museum, the Jewish Community, the Prague Literary House of the German Language, Revolver Revue, and the Architecture Association.

“The sheer variety of activities planned for this anniversary year underscores Franz Kafka’s enduring influence as one of the 20th century’s most significant writers,” remarks Minister of Culture Martin Baxa.

“His legacy continues to hold immense power. I am delighted that the Ministry of Culture is actively involved in shaping the Kafka Year program. This commemoration presents a remarkable opportunity to explore Kafka’s work from diverse perspectives and to engage with his enduring message. The Ministry’s contributions include supporting the dedicated platform kafka2024.cz, allocating a special grant of CZK 4 million to dozens of projects, and backing a creative learning project within the NPO that will culminate in a video game.”

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A website dedicated to the Kafka narrative offers visitors basic information about the author, highlights iconic locations in Prague associated with him, and provides guided walking tours that explore the places he frequented during his youth and later years. In collaboration with the Prague Municipal Library, the website also facilitates exploration of Kafka’s literary works.

Franz Kafka was born in Prague on July 3, 1883, to a Jewish family of merchant Hermann Kafka. Only six of his short stories, including The Metamorphosis, were published during his lifetime. Kafka had instructed his friend to destroy his writings after his death, but fortunately, the request was not fulfilled.

He was not well-known during his lifetime and was recognized only by a small group of people. Kafka died on June 3, 1924, after a long battle with tuberculosis in a sanatorium near Vienna. Most of his works were published posthumously.

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