Bringing Legacy to Life 2021 – Turn the cradle upside down: Subversive tendencies in contemporary Czech puppet animation

Kamila Boháčková

Kamila Boháčková is a PhD student at FAMU Prague. Her research focuses on hand-held puppets in Czech (Czechoslovak) films. Kamila graduated from Faculty of Arts at Charles University Prague with a Master degree in Film Studies and Czech Studies. Currently, she is a head editor of the Czech translation of Giannalberto Bendazzi’s Animation: A World History by. Previously, she also edited the Czech translation of Animasophy by Ülo Pikkov. Apart from her academic research, she has been an active film critic for many years.


This paper explores contemporary approaches to Czech puppet animation, subversive to the Czechoslovak puppet tradition (with its use of incorrect humour, hand-held puppets esthetic of ugliness). The case study of my paper is the phenomenon of TV Estráda, a collaborative project of several young Czech visual artists. This multimedia project includes live puppet theatre performances or a YouTube channel with series of short films. TV Estráda works with limited number of puppet characters, creating their own identities and even Facebook profiles. It’s therefore a great example of showcasing the performative potential of puppet animation far beyond the cinema screen.

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