27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlavadok-revuecdfEmerging producersInspiration Forum

The overuse of the term “crisis” in media and in politics evokes the feeling that we are moving from one crisis to another. It also prompts the necessity to take non-standard, quick and forceful measures introduced by the state, allowing minimum space for civic and individual activities. Using the term “crisis” with caution can also be inspiring as an approach to imminent questions in the field of education, economy, politics, culture and environment. What will change when we replace “crisis” with “responsibility”? How to recast a crisis into new opportunities?

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Women Globally on the Rise

What to do to mitigate the numerous forms of institutional violence against women? The music and dance choreography, Un Violador en Tu Camino (A Rapist in Your Way), by feminist collective Las Tesis from Chile became the global protest-song thematizing violence against women, the performance of which brought together women from over fifty countries. The music formation from Chile does not call out on individual abusers but challenges the whole system that is based on the culture of women oppression.

GuestsColectivo LASTESIS
ModeratorMartina Malinová


Let’s Talk about Responsibility, Not Crisis

Crises are always overwhelming, they suggest the necessity to take non-standard, quick and forceful measures introduced by the state, allowing minimum space for civic and individual activities. Careful use of the crisis narrative can show us how to approach burning issues in the fields of education, economy, politics, culture and environment as well as the pandemic. Will our approach change if we start framing our message in terms of responsibility, not crisis? How to transform the crisis narrative into an opportunity to invent new solutions? What forms of participation can be applied in collective governance?

GuestsKarel Kovář, Eszter Nova, Marek Szolc
ModeratorFilip Vostal


Inner Worlds

About the lessons learnt from encounters with others, recipes for life and materialized sacraments in a dialogue with the world. Not so audible voices that tell stories, share their roadmap to life and recall important moments that have motivated their steps in life and career.

GuestsDorotea Heczková and Magdalena Hrdličková (Kuchařky bez domova / Homeless Chefs), Lucie Králíková, Lukáš Houdek


Culture for All the Money

The purpose of culture, as well as landscape management, social work and education, is not to generate profit. Without subsidies and contributions, only the richest of us could afford it. The grant-making schemes force culture and art to meet so many criteria that they no longer allow for creative freedom, on the contrary, they lead to cultural overproduction. How should cultural institutions revise their strategies and how to reinvent the role of the state?

GuestsBarbora Baronová, Jan Press, Gosia Płysa
ModeratorJana Návratová


Rebellion, Not Extinction

Formal democracy and different versions of liberal capitalism seemed to herald the “end of history” and represent the final and ideal arrangement of matters of the state. However, they have been faced with serious challenges in terms of their function and legitimacy as they often don’t deliver as expected. This development inspired numerous ideas for alternative economic and social arrangements as well as autonomous movements. How should we deal with the changes in our world to make sure that it remains socially and environmentally fit for living?

GuestAndrej Grubačić
ModeratorFilip Remunda


Discussion Won't Save the World

We are accustomed to regarding discussion as the missing link in solving societal problems. However, what we lack a lot more is direct experience and common action. There is no shortage of words, but there is insufficient action. This is evident at the level of small communities and places as well as in the entire environmental area. Common effort is what makes it possible to find common language. How do we transform education and schooling in order to empower ourselves to transform what matters to us?

KeynoteIngerid S. Straume
GuestsJan Krajhanzl, Filip Vostal
ModeratorIvo Bystřičan





Barbora Baronová (CZ)

A literary documentarist and publisher, a journalist by qualification and a media theoretician with PhD in Multimedia and Design. She has written several highly acclaimed book documentaries, for example Slečny (Unmarried Women), Ženy o ženách (Women on Women), or Intimita (Intimacy). In 2012, she founded wo-men, an independent art publishing house.

How would you describe your work and your goals in the context of making culture more sustainable?
In my documentary and publishing work, I follow the concept of bibliodiversity – the diversity of books, as defined by Australian publisher Susan Hawthorne. She relates book production to the principles of eco-farming, characterized by responsible approaches, consideration, non-accelerated growth and rejection of overproduction and maximization of profit. In the context of bibliodiversity, she explains the importance of book diversity for sustainable culture and encouraging certain social values.

What do you consider important in light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
It would be a long list... Let me name just a few, though I cannot shake of the feeling that my answer will be very general, and therefore of limited value:
Ecology – there's a whole lot of sub-issues, such as overproduction, utilization rate at the expense of the quality of human life.
Equality – not just regarding gender but also age, religion, culture, race, social standing.
Solidarity – on both individual and national levels; towards people from conflict-torn countries; or single mothers largely neglected by the state.
Value of culture – I feel we need to stop viewing culture as something extra and recognize it as a basic value pillar of our lives. Speaking in a practical manner, we need to demand transparent and more effective funding for culture, so that more money is allocated to live culture, alternative forms of culture, such projects that have a significant impact on society, and domestic art residencies, given the current impossibility to travel, perform, read, sing, etc.

Which publications and creative works have resonated with you the most this year?
I won't name any specific work of art; I was more taken by art (professional) activism. For instance, online talks on independent publishing in the Czech Republic and Slovakia organized by cultural centre Diera do světa (Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia) or a discussion of independent publishers from V4 countries at BRAK, a book festival in Bratislava, Slovakia. These events connect professionals with different cultural perspectives, but with similar values, and to me, they belong among the most important activities of the world of culture, especially in the context of the sustainability debate.

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Ivo Bystřičan (CZ)

Documentary director, screenwriter, and producer. He studied sociology at FSS MU in Brno and documentary filmmaking at FAMU. He is currently working on the creative documentary project Climageddon and the television series Industrie about the industrial and social history of the Czech Lands.

How would you describe your work and goals in the area of documentary films?
I focus on environmental and social issues. My goal is to provoke audiences to change their attitudes, imagine a vision, and find possible solutions to things that are no longer working in our society. Simply stating what the problems are is not enough for me. I want to look for ways to be proactive with other people. Therefore, my motive is to disrupt ideological blocs and to stimulate a greater imagination about our options for moving forward in the interests of a fairer and more sustainable society.

What do you consider important in light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
I consider climate change and a wide range of areas related to it to be the number one issue. Landscape management, agriculture, industrial functioning, and energy. And, of course, the framework in which it all takes place and the way in which we live our lives: capitalism. This overarching economic model has long presented itself as destructive towards our environment, nature, social peace, democracy, and human dignity on both a global and local scale. It's high time that we rethink it and carry it our differently than how it’s currently playing out right now.

What resonated with you the most from this year's literature and artistic releases?
What resonated with me the most would have to be the documentary film Planet of the Humans produced by Michael Moore, which takes a critical stance towards renewable resources and green energy. It tries to accuse the green energy sector of being a total sham that has mislead the public into thinking green energy is the solution, claiming the sector is in it for its own financial gain and for using public financial resources. For me, this film was a remarkable, cautionary tale about how actors pretending to be important scientists (when they're actually not) can draw on marginal and unverified sources and take the failures that are a necessary side effect of developing a new technology as evidence that the technology is non-viable. Planet of the Humans inadvertently points out that the most valuable thing a documentary can have is its own creator's honesty.

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Colectivo LASTESIS (CL)

An interdisciplinary collective from Valparaíso, Chile, made up of Daffne Valdés, Paula Cometa, Lea Cáceres and Sibila Sotomayor. They use the tools of performance to deal with questions of gender, transferring feminist theories into a multimedia format. They are the creators of the performance “Un violador en tu camino” (A Rapist in Your Path), performed over 50 countries.

1/ How would you describe your work and your goals with regard to addressing the violence against women and the transnational violation of women’s rights?
We address the fight against gender violence through art. We believe in the transformative power of art, and specifically, performance, and in the link between artistic expression and activism.

2/ What do you consider important in the light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
Gender violence, impunity for aggressors, human rights violations in social protest contexts, and public policies that don't preserve human dignity.

3/ Which publications and creative works have resonated with you the most this year?
The series I may destroy you from Michaela Coel; the last books from Judith Butler regarding violence: The force of non-violence and Sin miedo; and the last book from Paul B. Preciado, Un apartamento en Urano: crónicas del cruce.

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Andrej Grubačić (bývalá Jugoslávie/USA)

Founding Chair of Anthropology and Social Change department at CIIS-San Francisco, an academic program with an exclusive focus on anarchist Anthropology. He is the author of several books, including Living at the Edges of Capitalism: Adventures in Exile and Mutual Aid (co-authored with Denis O'Hearn), winner of the 2017 American Sociological Association prize for Distinguished Scholarship.

How would you describe your work and your goals in the field of anthropology?
My interest in anarchist Anthropology has informed a research perspective principally focused on comparative study of "exilic spaces," or societies against the state in world history. Following Peter Kropotkin and Marcel Mauss, I approach world history as a struggle between institutions of possessive individualism and institutions of mutual aid. My ongoing research on exilic spaces considers how spatial expressions of concentrated mutual aid are produced and reproduced on the outside/inside of capitalist civilization. Exilic spaces and practices refer to liminal and non-state areas relatively autonomous from capitalist valorization and state control. I refer to the production of such forms of place-based politics within the cracks of the global capitalist system as "balkanization." Balkanization describes the very process of breaking from systemic processes of state and capital. Historical examples of balkanized, exilic spaces include Russian Cossacks, Atlantic pirates, and Jamaican Maroons; contemporary examples include Californian prisoners, Jamaican rude boys, Macedonian Roma, Mexican Zapatistas, and autonomous Kurdish communities.

What do you consider to be important in light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
I approach the present crisis as a civilizational crisis of capitalism, a singular crisis with many different expressions. My approach is world-ecological, and argues against a weird separation of environmental justice from social justice, and of environmental sustainability from social sustainability. This separation prevents us from making connections between social moments and ecological moments in the unfolding crisis of capitalism. Everything really depends on how we define capitalism. For me, the crucial point to make is that capitalism is utterly dependent on appropriation of the unpaid work of humans and the rest of nature. The crucial point about its limits is that the opportunities of appropriating work for free --work of forests and oceans, climate and soils, and human beings--are dramatically contracting. I interpret capitalism as a systemic process of organizing nature, power and accumulation on a planetary scale that is in the midst of a crisis. This systemic process is based on trialectics of work: labor power, unpaid human work, and work of nature as whole. Where does this take us? I hope to a new kind of politics, one that links the crisis of the biosphere with the crisis of productive and reproductive work.

What resonated with you the most from this year's literature and artistic releases?
I would always recommend Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Autonomy and Women's Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan by Anja Flach, Ercan Ayboga, and Michael Knapp.

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Lukáš Houdek (CZ)

Government campaign coordinator for HateFree Culture and is involved in a number of other humanitarian projects. He is also active as a creative artist, mainly exploring themes of identity, violence, and hatred or injustice. He is the author of several radio documentaries and won the Journalist Award this year for his work White Brings Death for Czech Radio 2 about albino stigmatisation in Ghana.

How would you describe your work and goals?
I’m active in several African countries and my goal is to provide informed and relevant information about some of the problems that societies face over there. Especially due to the fact that Czech media outlets do not provide much coverage on African countries and people have no idea why migrants or refugees come to Europe in the first place. There is also often incomplete and biased information, an example being the situation with white farmers in South Africa. I am also active in Ghana, where, together with my colleagues, our aim is to set up a sustainable process for solving one problem – the complete lack of protective creams for people with albinism. It’s important for us to be just a helping hand and not the actual driving force; because in order for the project to work properly, it must be undertaken by local actors who know the environment and the conditions best.

What do you consider to be important in light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
I think that within the context of the coronavirus pandemic, we should be focusing more on the planet’s impoverished population. I am monitoring the situation with great concern in townships in South Africa where, as a result of several months in lockdown, the nation’s poor no longer have the means to provide for their families or put food on the table. While the upper and middle classes are often able to work from home on their computers and the crisis may not have such a devastating impact on them, it’s a matter of life and death for slum dwellers and those living in poor suburbs. Most of them work in the households of the more affluent population and as a result of the restrictions, they lost their livelihoods practically overnight. The situation is deplorable and just goes to show how vulnerable the poor population is, and not just in South Africa. It’s also testimony to today’s society and how it seems as if we have no ability to take care of them.

What resonated with you the most from this year's literature and artistic releases?
This year, I was most moved by Jitka Vodňanská's book Water That Burns. It’s an autobiography largely devoted to her life with Václav Havel. But the book is also a testimony to the history and social upheavals from the perspective of a woman and mistress. In my opinion, it is unique. I was also interested in Paul Emmanuel's “Men and Monuments” exhibition at the Wits Gallery in Johannesburg. It dealt with forgotten soldiers killed in conflicts of war who were not listed among the victims at memorial sites and monuments for various reasons. It was often black soldiers from the colonies who fought for the land of their colonisers. The artist had their names stamped on his own naked body and then placed his large-format photographs in public spaces of the places where the conflicts took place. Themes of vulnerability and masculinity played a big role in the exhibition as the author is gay

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Karel Kovář (CZ)

One of the most outstanding representatives of the Czech YouTube scene who is able to a wide audience and present current social issues. His YouTube channel, KOVY, has more than 820,000 followers and it is no longer followed only by children. He has written two best-sellers (autobiography OVŠEM/However and iPohádka/iFairy-Tale) and he is a co-author of the LINKA podcast and a presenter. Forbes magazine regularly includes him among the most influential people on social media. In the past, he was selected as one of three YouTubers to interview former European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker; he also presented a show on TV Seznam (V Centru/In the Centre) and performed in Stardance. In addition, he is a regular guest of public discussions and debates.

How would you describe your work and your goals in terms of reflection of the society?
I see myself as a filter. In my videos, I try to deal with issues that speak to me or that I’m interested in. If I made videos about something uninteresting, it wouldn’t work. The issues are often current topics, and I’m not afraid to tackle even the most controversial ones.

What do you consider important in the light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
We mustn’t forget that in addition to the current epidemiological situation, there are dozens of other topics and issues that we shouldn’t leave behind a powerful smokescreen. In a few years, they may be hundred times more pressing than now. During the upcoming (economic) crisis, it will be especially necessary to think of those who have problems now, after years of prosperity. They may be in serious debt. There are thousands of people like this in our country. It is necessary then to concentrate on education and pre-school care, to revise general education programmes, to teach soft skills and competencies. If we want to change our society for the better, to make it grow, there is no better path than to start paying attention to education.

What resonated with you the most from this year's literature and artistic releases?
I have to admit I’ve been catching up on literature published earlier. To me, the book of the year is undoubtedly Slepé skvrny (Blind Spots) by Daniel Prokop, a sociological insight into the current problems of our society that are wrongfully put aside. My discovery of the year is director Taika Waititi. I’ve enthusiastically watched all his work. And I still remember the Slovak film Let There Be Light from last year’s Karlovy Vary IFF. I often think about it.

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Jan Krajhanzl (CZ)

A social and environmental psychologist who works at the Department of Environmental Studies at Masaryk University. He is the author of such publications as Psychology of Relation toward Nature and the Environment (2014) and Well-Hidden Emotions and Environmental Problems (2012), and the co-author of The Relationship of the Czech Public toward Nature and the Environment, Representative Public Opinion Surveys (2018).

How would you describe your work and your goals?
It occurred to me a while back, when I was explaining to our two-year-old son what my job really was, that I was trying to understand people and help them protect nature. For adults, I can add that I specialise in communication in environmental and climate protection; analysis of Czech public opinion; designing projects to support sustainable behaviour; and the psychological benefits of contact with nature. I like to connect science with practice.

What do you consider to be important in light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
Climate change and biodiversity protection. Protection of cities, villages, and landscapes. Trust in democracy and its institutions. Polarisation of society. An economic system. A growing dependence on digital technologies. Finding joy in unhappy times.

What resonated with you the most from this year's literature and artistic releases?
In all honesty? Rumcajs and Vinnetou. I fell in love with the voice of Karel Höger, who does Rumcajs, Volšoveček, the prince, and the princess. And the beautiful "Czech" of Václav Čtvrtek and his Dr. Seuss-like Czech words like špagátek, rumpajzle, holdegrón, and wassermánek. And then there’s Vinnnetou, also from the old, long-playing gramophone record with Petr Kostka as the best Old Shatterhand and Rudolf Hrušínský as the best Sam Hawkins. And the new Borkovec, Petříček Sellier and Petříček Bellot, a raw poetic realism from the landscape between Sázava and Vltava.

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Lucie Králíková (CZ)

Lucie Králíková studied garden architecture but has always had a much broader range of interests. Together with Klára Zahradníčková, she founded the Efemér alternative flower studio in 2011, which has been leaning towards artistic presentation since 2015 when Lucie became the only manager of the business. She is a founding member of the Czechia group of seekers of local idiosyncrasies and creators of “the new folklore” (together with Kateřina Plamitzerová and Michaela Karásková). Flowers and plants remain her basic source materials but in her installations, she combines them with any other leftover, found or upcycled matter which is always specific to the location. Environmental awareness and social connection to every location (she often works with the local community) are typical for Lucie's work. Her art is also characterized by her effort to rediscover half-forgotten seasonal liturgical rites and their adaptation to current urban settings. Recently, she released her Svátosti (Sacraments) book which is an authentic poetic diary in the form of documentary notes in a literary style combined with experimental photographs. Its theme is rooted in her intense love for nature, plants and traditions which she not only resurrects but also transplants into the current world, landscape and cities.

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Kuchařky bez domova (CZ)

The Homeless Chefs cafeteria (Jídelna Kuchařek bez domova) employs homeless women. It is operated by the Jako doma (Like Home) feminist organization which deals with the issue of female homelessness in a complex way. Besides the cafeteria, they also operate a community center and humanitarian housing for women who are homeless or in social distress.

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Martina Malinová (CZ)

Documentary filmmaker. She is also a rapper, poet and media educator. She studied social anthropology and media and communication studies at the Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University, and documentary production at the Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts. In the autumn of 2019, she joined the New Media Studio II at the Academy of Fine Arts. She is the author of the feminist zine Drzost. In her film work, she tries to give a voice to people and topics that are overlooked.

How would you describe your activities and goals in the context of reflecting the position of women in society?
The female experience is the only one I have. Among other things, It’s the experience of sexual violence, underestimation, it’s the experience of being pushed into roles that I didn’t choose. The rules of my world are created primarily by men, politicians, including such things as childbirth. Even my rule of law is a man’s playground. All my life I’ve tried to give a voice to women and other minorities who cannot be heard in such a world. My goal is to transform society into one that is feminist - or it won’t be a society at all.

What do you consider important in the light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
We need to find a compromise between prosperity and respect for nature so that we can avoid a slow and painful climatic apocalypse. In the Czech Republic, we need better education for all. And the independence of the media and the support of quality journalism are key. We should ask where individualism has led us in recent decades and whether or not to replace it with something more reciprocal, such as solidarity.

What resonated with you the most from this year's literature and artistic releases?
On the book market, I’d like to mention publications by the publisher Wo-man. Both thematically and physically, the books from this publisher are extremely high quality. Of the works of graduates at the Academy of Fine Arts, I was most affected by the works of Eliška Konečná and Kateřina Konvalinková. I am glad that the finalists of this year’s Jindřich Chalupecký Award rejected the principle of competition and that the National Gallery in Prague has new fresh leadership.

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Jan Návratová (CZ)

Theatre Institute's expert on dance, artists' second career and the status of artists. She is also a journalist, an editor, a cultural manager and a curator in the field of dance and movement theatre. In 2009, she founded the biennial Dance Film Festival and became its art director. Since 2005, she is the chairwoman of the board of the Dance Career Endowment Fund. She cooperates with professional cultural media including Czech Radio Vltava, Czech Television and Aktuálně.cz.

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Eszter Nova (HU)

Lecturer in philosophy and political science, researching the role of learned helplessness in the emergence of authoritarianism – and its cure.

How would you describe your work and your goals in the area of political analysis?
The psychology of learned helplessness plays into the hands of autocrats and authoritarian politicians. During the emergence of autocracies, citizens internalize that there is nothing they can do against the autocrat (voice). Those who cannot leave the country will often learn to change their minds about it (dysfunctional loyalty). Hence, it is paramount for an emerging autocrat to teach the lesson that resistance (voice) is futile. On the other hand, it should therefore be the priority of those seeking to dismantle an autocracy to un-teach helplessness and replace it with an addiction to having an impact (voice). It is surprisingly easy if we know what exactly we are trying to achieve.

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Gosia Plysa (PL)

Executive Director of Unsound – international contemporary music festival coming from Kraków, Poland with its editions taking place in Adelaide, New York, London, Toronto, and many others. She is also a co-director of Unsound Productions – creative and management agency representing several special projects of Unsound and working with artists such as Jlin, Zora Jones & Sinjin Hawke. She has also been involved in various networking activities of Unsound, such as ICAS, SHAPE platform and We Are Europe.

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Jan Press (CZ)

Director of the Moravian Gallery. Jan Press graduated in Art History and Museum Science at the Masaryk University in Brno and studied at the School of Engineering of Brno University of Technology. He worked as a project manager for the Diocese of Brno and in 2008, he joined the Moravian Gallery. In 2010, he became the head of the collections department and two years later, assumed the position of the head of the department of economy and operations in the director's department. In this capacity, he was in charge of the project teams reconstructing the Dušan Jurkovič villa in Brno, the Culture program, and prepared the reconstruction of the Governor's Palace within the Integrated Operational Program.

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Filip Remunda (CZ)

Czech director, cameraman, and producer. He studied documentary filmmaking at FAMU and co-founded the Institute of Documentary Film, which helps to promote Czech film abroad. He gained wider public awareness along with Vít Klusák with their controversial film reality show about a fictitious hypermarket entitled Czech Dream. He received the Pavel Koutecký Award for his film Tadpole, the Rabbit, and the Holy Ghost.

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Ingerid S. Straume (NO)

Norwegian writer and philosopher of education. She works as a director of the academic writing programme at the University of Oslo. Her recent publications include What Children Ask from Us: Education and Worldlessness in the Anthropocene (book chapter) and “What may we hope for? Education in times of climate change” (Open access article).

How would you describe your work and your goals in the field of education?
I work in the European Continental tradition where political philosophy, psychology, social theory and education are seen as interconnected. My favourite theme is politics in the classical, democratic sense of the term. Through my choice of subjects, I want to explore and strengthen existing and imaginary openings for altering the social institution.

What do you consider to be important in light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
I have been particularly interested in “activist” themes such as environmentalism, eco-pedagogy, radical democracy and social movements. More specifically I am concerned about the tendencies toward anti-politics and depoliticization that can be observed in contemporary public life, in the Western world and elsewhere.

What resonated with you the most out of this year’s literature and artistic releases?
I would like to recommend a film called Thank you for the rain, which was made a few years back, but addresses a range of issues linked to climate change.

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Marek Szolc (PL)

Lawyer, public policy adviser and sustainability expert. Graduated from the University of Warsaw and Université de Poitiers. Worked for ClientEarth, a leading international environmental legal NGO, and in the Polish Sejm as an adviser to one of the parliamentary groups. Supported Warsaw Smog Alert, the main clean air organization active in the Poland's capital. He is member of the Warsaw City Council elected in 2018. Chairperson of the Council's Committee on Environmental Protection focused on implementing and promoting progressive, sustainable urban policies. Currently working as Sustainability Analyst at EcoVadis, a corporate social responsibility management systems rating company, which supports businesses on their way towards greater sustainability.

How would you describe your work and your goals in relation to law and politics?
I have been involved in politics for five years already: firstly through the NGO sector, then as an adviser and ultimately, as an elected council member. At every stage I struggled to bring politics closer to real-life problems and amend the law so that it supports progress instead of hindering it. Poland, with its erratic policymaking, lackluster or outright inadequate climate and environmental policies, as well as persisting rule of law crisis is a particularly challenging battleground.

What do you consider important in the light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
The two key challenges we must focus on are rapid decarbonisation of our economy and halting biodiversity collapse. Preventing climate crisis from escalating further beyond our ability to contain it and preserving the natural environment which sustains all human activities are indispensable.

What resonated with you the most from this year's literature and artistic releases?
Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth – an ambitious attempt to imaginate a system which can make humanity prosper without going beyond the planetary boundaries.

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Filip Vostal (CZ)

Received his doctorate in sociology in 2013 from the University of Bristol. He works as a researcher in the Cabinet for the Study of Science, Technology and Society at the Institute of Philosophy at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. He is currently working on the temporality of knowledge production in the field of free electron laser experiments and is examining the epistemic role of acceleration and velocity in new methods of molecular dynamics.

How would you describe your work and your goals in terms of studying the transformation of society in modernity?
In my research, I deal with the sociology of time and acceleration as well as the social science studies of science and technology. One of my key research goals is to find out how late modernity is changing in the light of the acceleration imperative. I focus mainly on the study of time changes in the scientific environment and the temporality of scientific production in molecular biophysics. The reason why I chose this focus in particular is that it is precisely the imperative of acceleration and science as an apex of modernity that clash with each other - namely in various modifications and changes. To be more specific, I am currently in the process of researching 3D molecular cinema, which is a new experimental goal of molecular biophysicists. Even in this discipline - as the name suggests - the obscure combination of current groundbreaking research in the field of molecular dynamics with cinematography as a leading invention of early modernity is clear.

What do you consider to be important in light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
We should first and foremost address the issue that we, as a society, do not raise issues. Or certainly not in the way that our time period calls for. We live in a society that offers and longs for solutions and answers, but asks little of what it is going through and how the relationships between man and nature, man and the various systems and infrastructures he has created, and man and technology are changing. Current late-stage capitalism and political constellations combined with the phenomenon of social networks feed into the undermining of the traditional pillars of a confident, resilient and healthy democratic society (literally and figuratively) as well as the trust in free media, science and other modern institutions. We have little understanding of the world around us and within us, and we are not the least bit concerned.

What resonated with you the most from this year's literature and artistic releases?
This year, what really spoke to me the most (just like with every year) was the "traveling" art projects as part of Thierry Geoffory's Artformats. In particular: Critical Run, Awareness Muscle, Slowdance Debate and Delay Museum. TG's artistic activity represents a global critical platform that responds to the various forms of emergencies we face as a society. As far as new publications are concerned, I was captivated by the interview between Eric Lonergan and Mark Blyth in Angrynomics, as well as Making Time on Mars by Zara Mirmalek and the edited book Time Work: Studies of Temporal Agency by Michael G. Flaherty, Lotte Meinert and Anne Line Dalsgård. Out of all the local books released in the Czech Republic this year, I was particularly taken by Petr Fischer's book, Was this a crisis? Why some planes aren’t visible (Byla tohle krize? Proč některá letadla nejsou vidět).

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Oeconomia (Carmen Losmann, Germany, 2020)
The Campaign Against the Climate (Mads Ellesøe, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Belgium, 2020)
Coronation (Ai Weiwei, Germany, 2020)
Vivos (Ai Weiwei, Germany, Mexico, 2020)
A New Shift (Jindřich Andrš, Czech Republic, 2020)
Journey around the home in 60 Days (David Schwartz, Vlad Petri, Teona Galgotiu, Laura Pop, Andra Tarara, Alina Manolache, Alexandru Solomon, Romania, 2020)
Antigone - How Dare We! (Jani Sever, Slovenia, 2020)
Interregnum (César Souto Vilanova, Fernando Gómez-Luna, Spain, 2020)
Dissipatio (Filippo Ticozzi, Italy, 2020)

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If you want to delve deeper into this topic, we offer you a selection of the most interesting sources that we came across while thinking through the program of this year's Inspiration Forum.


In his essay, the philosopher of technology working at the Bauhaus school in Weimar, Germany, studies the global pandemic of our “post-metaphysical” world by reflecting on the events that shook up Western society in the century following the First World War. Hui ponders which mechanisms and institutions of globalised society will survive in the context of our new reality. He also warns about the dangers associated with the lack of diversity and solidarity in an online world run by tech giants.

“For Jacques Derrida (whose widow, Marguerite Derrida, recently died of coronavirus), the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center marked the manifestation of an autoimmune crisis, dissolving the techno-political power structure that had been stabilized for decades: a Boeing 767 was used as a weapon against the country that invented it, like a mutated cell or virus from within. The term “autoimmune” is only a biological metaphor when used in the political context: globalization is the creation of a world system whose stability depends on techno-scientific and economic hegemony. Consequently, 9/11 came to be seen as a rupture which ended the political configuration willed by the Christian West since the Enlightenment, calling forth an immunological response expressed as a permanent state of exception—wars upon wars. The coronavirus now collapses this metaphor: the biological and the political become one. Attempts to contain the virus don’t only involve disinfectant and medicine, but also military mobilizations and lockdowns of countries, borders, international flights, and trains.“



The writer and art director of Krakow’s Unsound Festival ponders what we stand to gain and lose in a world where crossing long distances – whether by plane or through permanent online connections – is no longer an issue. He also thinks about the impact of his lifestyle which inescapably involves regular travel across and between continents.

“Last night I spoke to an Australian friend who lives in Paris. He asked, ‘What happens if the internet runs out?’ This idea, of course, is appalling: how would we cope? I push it to the back of my mind, with a whole host of ever-­darkening thoughts.“



The Norwegian philosopher of education warns that the negative impacts of climate change cannot be solved exclusively through science and tech, but that we also need to reconsider the ways in which society and its institutions (such as schools) function. She considers "transformative education" focused on changing people's perspectives to be one of the key ways of making this happen. In that form of education, climate change wouldn’t just be a part of the curriculum that needed to be taught – it would be a starting point for transforming education and its systems.

“As a political (and moral) category, hope seems to be especially important for children and young people; nevertheless, I would argue that hope can be productive in the long term only when based on realistic assumptions and truth knowledge. In this respect, I am critical of much of the wishful thinking on climate change communication which, at least in the wealthier parts of the world, include the assumption that climate change can be “solved” by some kind of hitherto unknown technological innovation or that we already have the means to combat climate change and all we need to do is to implement them. On the contrary, my starting point is that deep alterations of the earth system are already taken place and that some of these processes are irreversible and escalating toward their tipping points. Climate change and other ecological problems have simply become part of the conditions for life on earth.”



The Irish artists and curator, Terence Sharpe suggests, in an article for Strelka Mag, that the first prerequisite for solving the crises of our time – especially the climate crisis – is for us to become aware that we are members of a human species and approach this fact from non-anthropocentric point of view. Sharpe states, however, that this runs contrary to the capitalist basis on which our current society is built and, as a result, we need to change the current economic system.

“From a human viewpoint, climate change is fundamentally an economic problem, existing not within but as part of the very fabric of the economic system in which we are entrenched. As it seems a non-economic conception of the human cannot be realized at scale during this point in history, the global financial system must be re-engineered to divert its interests towards green energy along with different models of value engineering.”


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