Standing well clear of Prague’s traditional skyline, both in height and style, the Žižkov TV Tower is worth going out of your way to see. If not for the panoramic views from its 100m high observation room then for the Babies – yes, I really did say Babies 🙂 The space age tower was conceived as a grand vision of the future in 1978 by the Communist government but ironically was not completed until three years after the regime’s downfall. Initially unpopular among the majority of Prague residents apparently the addition of the babies helped enamour it to the population. The ‘babies’ are in fact the ‘Miminka’ sculptures by the political artist David Černý and, as well as proving to be an additional tourist attraction for this overlooked part of the city, they are also considered to have claimed the once-threatening Communist megalith for the people of Prague. I found the tower and the Babies fascinating; the strong lines are a photographers dream and the idea is just so bizarre – as is their construction with their ‘vacuum’ faces. This aspect still intrigues me and no doubt there are many interpretations of this, as are there for the installation itself. It is variously claimed that the Babies represent future people with our same DNA, growth stifled in the Communist era, voices muted under the regime, how a small nation can achieve great heights …. the ideas roll on. What’s yours?!
(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)