Find Your Own HERO CZ!
Heroes embody the key characteristics of a culture, of each nation or social group. However, how does the typical Czech hero look like? Who is the real hero: the medieval Hussite's leader Jan Žižka, Joseph Schweik or a neighbor who saved the boy from drowning?
The HERO.CZ project serves as an online umbrella brand connecting topics that Czech Radio has designated as priorities for 2015: the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, 600 years since the burning to death of religious reformer Jan Hus, discussions on controversial figures and typical dilemmas of the Czech 20th century.
The purpose of the project is not simply to recall the past. It aims to spark a debate and bring something new to the societal discourse on the dividing line between good and evil, on the nature of a nation, and on the meaning of its history as well as its present. It seeks answers to the questions: What is a Czech hero like? Who is one? What was one like in the past and what is one like now? Why do we forget our heroes so fast? Do Czechs suffer from an inferiority complex in relation to their heroes? Where to draw the line between heroism and cowardice or collaboration?
We are inviting visitors of the website to take part in the big national survey “Who do you see as a HERO CZ”, which allows for a comparison with a similar EBU survey. The questions: For what would you lay down your life? Would you take up arms to defend your country? Who is the greatest Czech hero of all time in your view? And who is the biggest villain?
Even after a quarter of a century of peace, freedom and democracy there are still many opportunities for heroism. The aim of the project is to show that despite the relativism that is common among Czechs there have been, and still are, heroes around us that we can be proud of.
|Read also: We have launched the Radio Retro 1938-1945|
The website provides easy access to a great number of articles, archive audio footage, radio reports, news programmes and documentaries, including photographs and videos. The website also featured “Radio Retro 1938-1945”, a digital stream containing 28 hours of news, speeches and reports from the period between the end of the First Republic and the Nuremberg trials. The audio programme streamed on the internet and through DAB non-stop from 15 March (the 76th anniversary of the Nazi occupation) to 5 May (the 70th anniversary of the Prague Uprising). It was followed immediately by the “Battle for Czech Radio” with a Prague Uprising timeline event as well as the premiere of an original film documentary containing newly uncovered footage from May 1945. Historians have also discovered a further 81 victims of the Battle for Czech radio and a virtual memorial plaque on the website connects the names of all 170 victims with their faces and stories. Their memory was also honoured on 5 May by a large projection mapping event on Prague’s Old Town Square broadcast on YouTube.
The website transforms several times throughout 2015. In the first stage “70 stories” and “Radio Retro” from the period of the Protectorate and the end of World War II are to the fore. Next is the presentation of the first results of the “Who do you see as a HERO.CZ?” survey, followed by the “Master Jan Hus – not as dead as it first seemed” story, rendered in comic book style. The comic strips refer to an experimental radio series that takes us on trip in a time machine to the era of the religious reformer, interrogates historical figures and broadcasts Hus’s fate “live from the past” up until his burning at the stake in Constance.
The main part of the project, starting in September, will deliver the “Heroes with a Question Mark” series. On-air docu-dramas and debates with students focus on the 10 most controversial Czech figures of the 20th century. The website will offer further perspectives and interactive features: polemics written by well-known Czech journalists, including reader polls with a good guy-bad guy scale, a chat, a story in the form of a comic book, infographics, etc.
The whole project will culminate in the fall with the “Heroes around us” series – the stories of fire fighters, soldiers, handicapped sportsmen, volunteer nurses, nature preservationists, bone marrow donors and other heroes of everyday life.