Laterna magika. Past and present, documentation, preservation and accessibility

Acronym: Laterna Magika

Poskytovatel: MK ČR
Identification number: DG16P02H005

Implementation period: 3/2016–12/2019

Coordinatior: NFA
Number of partners: 4
Role of CESNET: partner
Manager for CESNET:
Bc. Michal Krsek

Laterna magika, combining multi-genre theatre productions and multi-screen
film projection, was introduced as a representative program of Czechoslovakia
for the international exhibition EXPO`58. Thanks to the extraordinary success,
eponymous series of performances was repeated in Prague, and permanent theatre
was founded later, based on the same staging principle. It has been a unique
phenomenon, both in the history of Czech art, and in the global context, due to
its experimental nature, the combination of multiple media, linking the artwork
to the development of new technologies and cooperation of many outstanding

Our main goal was to develop methods and means for the documentation and
preservation of and providing access to Laterna magika as a specific form of
cultural heritage within a sustainable system applicable to similar cultural
forms and in other memory and collection institutions. We also wanted to
contribute to the research of the history of Czech film, theatre and
experimental media, but also to answer general questions relating to
representation of a nation during a totalitarian regime, a possible research
into the history of intermedia or intermediality, etc. A prerequisite for
achieving these goals is preservation and processing of a large set of films of
Laterna magika, which were transferred to the National Film Archive in

Coordination of a multidisciplinary team consisting of members with various
background ranging from the humanities to technical fields along with different
legal forms of formal existence of the participating institutions was a
challenge for us. The composition of this team, however, reflected the character
of the studied phenomenon and was a key aspect of the project. An important
(albeit unrated within the NAKI programme) output was application for the
list of UNESCO Memory of the World, concerning a convolute of documents related
to the Laterna Magica.

Project web site

Last change: 7.4.2020