Publication details

“Quid Pro Quo” : The Czech Folklore Revival Movement in the Light of Totalitarian Cultural Policy



Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Český lid
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Folklore revival movement; folk ensembles; totalitarianism; communist cultural policy; transformation of tradition; leisure; Czech Republic
Description The paper deals with the transformation of society and culture in totalitarianism through the example of the Czech folklore revival movement between 1948 and 1989. While describing the main objectives of communist cultural policy, the paper observes the reasons for the mass development of folk ensembles in the 1950s, the gradual transformations to their activity, and the philosophy behind it. The degree of cooperation between folk ensembles and political power, as well as the exploitation of these troupes to promote the communist regime, was varied. Politically-engagé performances by such ensembles and their participation in events organized by the totalitarian state apparatus have resulted in many Czech people adopting a negative attitude towards the folklore revival movement as a whole. In fact most members of these ensembles were not motivated by politics – for many of them, this leisure activity was an escape from reality to the romantically viewed world of folk tradition.
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