Our wanderings in Prague today brought us to the Lennon Wall, a stretch of a street in Little Town covered in layers of graffiti honoring John Lennon and the Beatles. Lucky for me I had my Lensbaby with me (along with a bagful of other lenses that–in addition to my big camera–may add up to my requiring a chiropractor when I return home); the sheer explosion of color and creativity was a visual delight.
Wikipedia has this to say about the Lennon Wall: “In 1988, the wall was a source of irritation for the then communist regime of Gustav Husak. Young Czechs would write grievances on the wall and in a report of the time this led to a clash between hundreds of students and security police on the nearby Charles Bridge. The movement these students followed was described ironically as “Lennonism” and Czech authorities described these people variously as alcoholics, mentally deranged, sociopathic, and agents of Western capitalism.
The wall continuously undergoes change and the original portrait of Lennon is long lost under layers of new paint. Even when the wall was repainted by some authorities, on the second day it was again full of poems and flowers. Today, the wall represents a symbol of youth ideals such as love and peace.”
What Jim and I are finding particularly wonderful about Prague is this very sentiment, that the value of art subsumes politics, and be they alcoholic, mentally deranged, sociopathic, agents of Western Capitalism or, more likely none of the above, the Czech’s are enamored of freedom and the pleasures of fine art.