ON AIR: The Ku Klux Klan through the eyes of Central Europe
9 Nov 2017, 7 PM
One of the most mythological and feared organizations through the eyes of Polish reporter Katarzyna Surmiak-Domanská and Czech scholar of American Studies Hana Ulmanová. A discussion about contemporary American society and about what divides and unifies it, moderated by Petr Vizina. Do we understand the United States, which for decades represented heaven on Earth for Central Europeans?
The launch of the Czech translation of Ku Klux Klan. Tu mieszka miłość [Ku Klux Klan. Love Lives Here], in Czech entitled Ku-klux-klan. Tady bydlí láska (Absynt 2017, Jarmila Horáková Trans.), which explores the origin and current structure of the KKK, as well as the deep roots of slavery and racial segregation. The Polish reporter travelled to Arkansas to a Ku Klux Klan gathering, and spoke with many residents of the Bible Belt about the organization’s history, its transformations, and the identity of the American South. Few suspect how the Ku Klux Klan came to be and how it changed and is still changing. What was originally an association of a few veterans of the US Civil War took root in many states, and today its often-independent branches have various objectives and motivations.
Katarzyna Surmiak-Domańska (1967) is a Polish reporter and journalist, author of four award-winning reportage books devoted to what are often difficult and controversial subjects. Ku Klux Klan. Tu mieszka miłość was a finalist for the prestigious Polish Nike literary prize and was nominated for the Ryszard Kapuściński Award for Literary Reportage.
Hana Ulmanová (1967) is a translator, literary critic, and historian. She works at the Institute of Anglophone Literature and Culture of the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague, and focuses on contemporary US literature, especially Southern and Jewish US prose. She has translated the works of authors such as Truman Capote, Arthur Miller, and Tennessee Williams into Czech.