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Everyday resistance in the Czech landscape: the woodcraft culture from the Hapsburg Empire to the communist regime

Jehlička, Petr and Kurtz, Matthew (2013). Everyday resistance in the Czech landscape: the woodcraft culture from the Hapsburg Empire to the communist regime. East European Politics and Societies and Cultures, 27(2) pp. 308–332.

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URL: http://eep.sagepub.com/content/27/2/308
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/0888325413483550
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Abstract

Considerable scholarly attention has been given to Charter ’77 as a site of dissent in the former Czechoslovakia. Yet there was a socially embedded site of resistance that was active long before the dissidents. We call this site the Czech woodcraft culture. With its mass popularity and its potent references to Native American anti-colonialism, the woodcraft culture has still barely registered among researchers. In this paper, we offer the first scholarly account of the origins of Czech woodcraft culture, starting in the early twentieth century. We argue that subsequent transformations of the woodcraft culture in the Czech landscape should be understood as popular, complex, and often ambiguous practices of resistance, from the internationalist inversions of a national bourgeois order in the inter-war period, to nostalgic and paradoxically nationalist subterfuges of the Soviet-imposed regime after 1968. We trace how, as a response to the state socialist regime’s cultural and political pressures, the activities of Czech woodcraft culture were “layered with memories and experiences rooted in the pre-communist period” (Bren, 2002: 124). The Czech woodcraft culture as a whole provided its adherents with an autonomous space that enabled new forms of sociality, immersions in the natural world, and a host of long-standing voluntary associative activities that preceded the emergence of localized environmental movements and other sites of dissent around the Czech lands.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2013 SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1533-8371
Keywords: woodcraft; outdoor education; Czechia; environmental movement; resistance
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 37542
Depositing User: Petr Jehlička
Date Deposited: 03 May 2013 08:42
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2019 10:06
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/37542
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