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Czech Republic

Arts Studios in Creative Writing, Contemporary Dance & Photography

Explore photography, creative writing, or contemporary dance through an intensive arts workshop, while examining current debates around arts, politics, and society.

At a Glance

Credits

6

Prerequisites

None

Courses taught in

English

Dates

May 25 – Jul 5

Program Countries

Czech Republic

Program Base

Prague

Critical Global Issue of Study

Education & Social Change

Overview

Why Study Art in the Czech Republic?

Artists are the foremost custodians of free expression in the Czech Republic and other Central European young democracies. In this program, you will learn about mechanisms artists employ to engage political debate and promote the values of inclusion and social justice, take part in daily workshops with professional artists, and attend performances, exhibitions, and other cultural events. You may select one of the three studio workshops, photography, creative writing, or contemporary dance. Photography students will work with experimental photo methods such as photogram, collage and montage, or stop-motion photography, and prepare their own exhibition at a public art gallery. Creative writing students will write fiction under the guidance of a local novelist, read and critique contemporary Czech fiction and poetry, and present their own work at a final literary evening. Contemporary dance students take part in daily studio work, attend performances, learn about trends in Czech dance, and create a final dance performance. The program also includes excursions to regional alternative arts spaces, galleries, and other off-the-beaten track arts initiatives devoted to community building and engaging social justice debates and politics.

Highlights

  • Develop your skills in photography, writing, or dance under the guidance of top Czech artists. 
  • Attend exhibitions, performances, and other cultural events.
  • Explore the intersection of the arts and social justice issues in Central Europe.
  • Gain first-hand experience in the Czech cultural scene and its unique community arts initiatives. 

Prerequisites

None.

program map

Excursions

Brno & Regional Arts Residency Centers

Excursions include Brno, the historical capital of Moravia and second largest city and dynamic cultural hub, and Artist Residencies based in farms, factories and other historic buildings repurposed to serve local arts and community initiatives. Certain locations are chosen based on activities and opportunities on the cultural calendar in the month of June that provide students with unique and personal opportunities to participate in current events and to devote time to their own creative wok at one of these artists residency centers.

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.

Academics

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to: 

  • Explain the tools and mechanisms employed by Czech activists to impact social change through the arts. 
  • Discuss contemporary Czech literature, dance scene, or visual arts scene. 
  • Create works of literature, photography, or dance.   
  • Take part in relevant readings, exhibitions, or performances. 
  • Analyze the ways in which select writers, visual artists, or contemporary dancers reflect and engage current Czech social and political debates. 

Read more about Program Learning Outcomes.



Coursework

Access virtual library guide.

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.


Key Topics

  • Day trips to alternative arts spaces, galleries, and other initiatives devoted to community building and engagement with social justice debates and politics 
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  • Discussions with local artists and activists  
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  • Creative writing students will write under the guidance of a local novelist and read and critique contemporary Czech fiction and poetry 
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  • Contemporary dance students will attend performances and learn about trends in the Czech dance scene 
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  • Photography students will learn experimental photo methods such as photogram, collage and montage, and stop motion animation 

Creativity in the Czech Context

Creativity in the Czech Context – syllabus
(EURO/ARTS 3005/3 credits)

This seminar explores the intersection of the arts and society through theoretical debates and personal discussions with Czech artists whose work mirrors, provokes, or raises awareness of current debates in the Czech lands around such topics as human rights, the environment and public space, gender equality, and social marginalization. They consider how the roles of Czech artists and civic leaders have transformed in recent years to respond and engage public discourse and analyze individual and community approaches to social change. The Artist & Community, the Artist & Public Space, the Personal is Political are a few of the umbrella themes that inform the students investigation of the role of the artist today.

Three Course Options

Choose one of three courses.

Creative Writing Studio – syllabus
(ARTS 3007/3 credits) 

This studio is devoted to creative writing practice and an introduction to contemporary Czech literature. Students take part in workshops based on prompts provided by the instructor, and group critiques of their work. They also meet with Czech writers of fiction and poetry to discuss the writing process and ways in which their writing reflects topics such as Czech identity and history and current public debates around politics and social justice. Students keep a journal of field observations and writing exercises and select one work for revision and presentation at a closing literary evening that also includes a discussion of their processes, topics, and inspiration from Czech authors.

Contemporary Dance Studio – syllabus
(ARTS 3006/3 credits) 

This class is devoted to studio practice in contemporary dance techniques with an emphasis on contact improvisation, understanding the mind, body and voice for individual and group performance work, and working with sound and light.  Students take part in intensive studio sessions, attend contemporary dance and alternative theater performances, keep a fieldwork journal and present their work at a performance in a public venue. They also meet with choreographers, dancers and production specialists to gain insights into the local performance scene and the different ways in which dancers engage or contribute to current social justice and political discourse.  

Photography Studio – syllabus
(ARTS 3008/3 credits) 

This class is devoted to practice in experimental photography with an emphasis on techniques with deep roots in Czech visual arts history such as montage, collage, assemblage, stop-motion photography, and photogram. Students take part in artist studio or other workshops, attend exhibitions and visit photographic archives, keep a sketchbook and journal, and present their photography in a public gallery space. They also meet with Czech  photographers who work with experimental and multi-media methods, documentary photography or other approaches, and attend visual arts and photography exhibitions.

Homestays

Homestay

You will live with families in Prague (both urban and suburban areas) for five weeks in order to experience the Czech lifestyle, culture, and language. Families are chosen based on their interest in the program theme, and many are affiliated with the Prague arts scene as artists or social activists. Students often cite their homestay experiences in Prague as the highlight of their program, and relationships between host families and students often last long after the program’s conclusion.

Other accommodations

Hostels, small hotels, private homes, and arts and NGO centers.

Career Paths

The program is focused on the arts and practicing student artists, but a diversity of students representing different colleges, universities, and disciplines study abroad on this program Many of them have gone on to do things that connect back to their experience abroad with SIT. Alumni are currently working:

  • for museums, visual arts centers, and theater festivals.

  • for NGOs devoted to social issues and education.

  • for small presses and literary magazines.

  • as independent artists, actors and dancers, copy editors, and graphic designers.

  • as a Watson Fellow doing arts-based research.

  • as Fulbright teaching assistants at schools in Central and Eastern Europe.

Faculty & Staff

Czech Republic: Arts Studios in Creative Writing, Contemporary Dance & Photography

Sarah Brock, MA bio link
Sarah Brock, MA
Academic Director
Lenka Krenková bio link
Lenka Krenková
Program Assistant and Homestay Coordinator

Discover the Possibilities

  • Cost & Scholarships

    SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award nearly 1 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.

    See Full Breakdown