GLOCAL Summer School: The Cultural Side Programme

2022 Summer School in Prague… what a wonderful memory for all of us! Not only because of the excellent academic programme at the Charles University during the week but also because of the cultural side programme that was designed especially for us. Characterised by the two leitmotifs of water and music, the week started on Sunday evening with a private boat tour of the Vltava River including historical facts. In addition to a great dinner, the boat was magically transformed into a dance floor at the end of the tour and the great reunion was celebrated across the three present GLOCAL cohorts.

GLOCALS on welcome boat Prague
Cohort V GLOCALs enjoying the boat tour.

The next highlight was a private jazz concert on the roof terrace of the Lucerna Halls on Tuesday evening. We admired the sunset over the rooftops of historic Prague, chatted with professors from the GLOCAL consortium who had joined us in the meantime, and couldn’t believe what we were experiencing. We did not yet know what lay ahead of us.

Roof Top Party Prague
Jazz Concert above the roofs of Prague.

Another cultural institution that we got to know twice during the week is the DOX Museum. On the one hand, we spent an academic part of the programme here, but we also got a guided tour of the current exhibition by a Chinese artist and were able to marvel at an experimental play on Wednesday evening. This dealt with the topics of right-wing radicalism, violence and masculinity in an interplay of performative dance art with live instrumental accompaniment and a recorded film. Many of us were moved by the performance after the show and the group dissolved into conversation.

DOX Museum Prague
Exhibition in the DOX museum. Two of the NGO teams also worked together with the museum and the theatre and came up with marketing ideas.

What can’t be missing at a reunion of all the GLOCALs of Cohort 5? A meeting of the GLOCAL Bookclub  of course! Already planned as the next meeting in Barcelona, the literature-loving book club members and even a few new faces visited the Franz Kafka Museum together on Thursday and dived deep into the world of one of the most important German-language authors of modern times. Through his eyes, portrayed in the exhibition, Prague could once again be discovered in a completely different way. Afterwards, the group sat down comfortably in a café and discussed the books they had read over the summer as well as their personal relationship to Kafka’s work. As always, so inspiring! 

Book Club Prague
Franz Kafka themed Book Club in Prague.

The absolute highlight of the week, however, was Friday evening. To mark the Czech Presidency of the European Council, the organisation Prague Sounds organised a classical concert by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra entitled “Concert for Europe” on a floating stage on the Vltava River. The concert was watched not only by the Czech Prime Minister and numerous admirers on the city’s bridges, but also by dressed-up GLOCALs divided between small pedal or paddle boats. The music was overwhelming, especially when the well-known work “The Vltava” by Bedřich Smetana was played, goose bumps were guaranteed. Certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Prague Sounds Concert
The Czech Philharmonia on a floating stage on the Vltava river. One of the NGO teams had the chance to look behind the scenes.

Afterwards we were invited back onto the private party boat and what happened after that and where various GLOCAL groups drifted off to in the streets of Prague afterwards remains a mystery.