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Featured Personality Announced for MIF 2015

The Embassy of the Czech Republic announced Czech writer Karel Čapek as the highlighted personality for the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2015, during the celebration Android Fever that took place on January 15, 2015.  

During the event, Ambassador Gandalovič thanked all partners and supporters who helped make the MIF 2014 festival such a resounding success as well as spoke of the many distinguished events surrounding the 25 Years of Democracy Celebration in Washington. The silver-themed event also featured DJ Tom from Prague spinning synthesized 70s and 80s music, DC resident Ryan Gill showing off his robotic moves, and the embassy’s very own “robot” greeting guests upon arrival.

Karel Capek (1890-1938) is best known for his science fiction, including the novel War with the Newts and the play R.U.R. He began his career as a journalist, and worked for such papers as Narodni Listy (The National News) and Lidove noviny (The People’s Paper), writing on topics of nationalism, consumerism, and totalitarianism. His works delve into ethical aspects of industrial inventions such as nuclear weapons, artificial intelligence, and mass production. Čapek also expressed fear of social disasters, dictatorship, violence, the unlimited power of corporations, and greed. His contemporaries include Ray Bradbury, Salman Rushdie, and Dan Simmons. Besides plays and sci-fi novels, he has also written detective stories and fairy tales. Furthermore, he is widely known for influencing modern Czech literature through the development of Czech as a written language.

A performance of Čapek’s play R.U.R. is already in the works for the Mutual Inspirations Festival. The festival runs from September-October 2015.

The Mutual Inspirations Festival (MIF) is an annual initiative spearheaded by the Embassy of the Czech Republic, focusing on the mutual inspirations between Czech and American cultures and featuring each year an extraordinary Czech personality who has greatly influenced and inspired others through his or her work (MIF 2010-Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, MIF 2011-Antonín Dvořák, MIF 2012-Miloš Forman, MIF 2013-Václav Havel, MIF 2014-Franz Kafka).

The festival began as a pilot project of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in 2010, and branched out to the local DC community a year later. It continues to grow, reaching out to select cities across the United States. In the last three years, over 30,000 visitors have attended festival events throughout Washington, DC, alone.    

The festival takes place at cultural, religious, and educational community centers through a variety of forms, such as music, art, film, and literature. Through the celebration of the work of many famous personalities and the creations of individuals they in turn influenced, the festival aims to depict this long tradition of transatlantic inspiration and interpretation as well as to foster new works.

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