The radio and podcast series A Stitch in Time (https://english.radio.cz/node/8765630/o-poradu) is the outcome of a project bringing together the Prague-based initiative Class Acts (https://www.classacts.cz/) and Radio Prague International (www.radio.cz/en).
Class Acts, which works with children and teenagers who are growing up with more than one language at home, has already organised several literature- and theatre-based projects. In 2018, under the guidance of Leah Gaffen, its children’s theatre arm Story Theatre put together a play called Journeys, based on stories gathered by children about their relatives and ancestors. The project was a great success, building bridges across generations and in many cases telling family stories that had been all but forgotten.
Class Acts decided to expand the project with the writing competition Let’s Write (https://www.classacts.cz/lets-write-home), inviting children from across the Czech Republic to write a story in English about someone in their family who had influenced or inspired them. The aim was to collect the stories and record the children reading them at the Czech Radio studios in Prague. This led to a series of podcasts and radio programmes, which included not just the stories themselves, but also their young authors talking about the process of writing. On the Stitch in Time webpage the stories were also accompanied by family photographs.
Many of the stories were beautifully and sensitively written. At the same time they offered subtle and often unexpected insights into recent Czech and Czechoslovak history, and sometimes into places far beyond the Czech Republic’s country’s borders – fragments of 20th century history reflected in the stories of individual families.
This is an ongoing project, and the organisers are looking forward to the next round in 2023-2024, which will also see the 35th anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution, a time for reflection on the recent past and its legacy.
Contact: David Vaughan (firstname.lastname@example.org), Leah Gaffen (email@example.com)