Prague is a city of culture and the universities comply with the same tradition. Festivals, societies and clubs are as integral parts of your academic life as the study itself. Even on the departments with the most rigid and hard-scientific disciplines, you should always find a bit of time for some cultural enlightenment. Based on what kind of culture you personally dig, here are a few examples:
Films are my fix!
There are currently two official movie clubs – the Film Seminar of Charles University, which provides its attendees with sneak previews of the newest films often before they’re even officially showed in cinemas. If you are up for some world-class cinematography, you’d better reserve every Tuesday evening from now on. The projections take place in Blue Auditorium at the University’s Celetná Street building.
The second movie club takes place on the premises of the Czech Technical University in Prague and is called simply Film Club of CTU. The projections are organized every Thursday at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in the auditorium no. 209 or no. 256 at 19:30 p.m. Just ask your pedagogues or fellow students for details or directions. If you fancy movies of smaller independent productions, film festival award winners or just forgotten club classics, this is your new favourite club.
Apart from the clubs, there are several movie festivals throughout the year. Longest of these is the International Festival of Documentary Films on Life Sciences organized by University of Life Sciences, Prague every autumn and it lasts for an entire week. Second longest but not one bit less important is the multi-genre Famufest held annually by students of the Film and TV faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. It provides a perfect opportunity for the students to show their latest projects in front of a normal audience, because it is fully accessible to public. Last one of them is the Golden Eyes Festival – an event organized by the graduating students of audio-visual theory at the end of the summer semester in late May.
I am a drama queen!
The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and its students have their own theatre called Disk where students of the Academy may perform their rehearsed plays in front of a live audience. Even in front of you, if you don’t feel the need to participate. Apart from that the most prominent theatre ensemble is the Comica Economica Theatre. This particular amateur theatre company brings together students from Charles University, University of Economics and Czech Technical University in Prague and is dedicated to political satire.
Music to my ears!
The single biggest event in the music department is undoubtedly the Majales Festival. As the biggest open-air student musical festival in Prague, it attracts thousands of young people willing to dance until their feet fall off as an unusual offering to the end of April. If you are absolutely oblivious to the Czech music scene (and you want to change that), this is definitely the most important event of the season.
If you are into more classical stuff, once again apart from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, you also have some options. Charles University and Czech Technical University have their respective philharmonic orchestras and university choirs that give regular performances and often collaborate with charity organizations. Czech Technical University organizes admission free concerts of classical music in the Bethlehem Chapel.
I like to stare at art!
There are currently two art spaces under the jurisdiction of the two art academies. UM Gallery ran by the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, which focuses on the youngest generation of artists and curators and reflects the broad variety and range of school’s artistic disciplines. And GAMU or the Gallery of the Academy of Performing Arts – a non commercial space with a mission to foster a conductive environment for the presentation of and critical reflection on contemporary art. Both galleries hold as much as twelve exhibitions around the year and present final and graduate works of the students.
You think that’s all there is? Wrong! Ask your fellow students or your study coordinators for more!
And don’t forget that if you ever get tired of all the cultural burdens, you can always give a try to a different type of enculturation. The FAMU Club is opened Monday to Saturday, closes at 2 a.m. and apart from liquid and edible attractions serves as an excellent meeting point for your friends in the very heart of the city.