Citizenship is a part of every person. The binding to the place where we live and our relationships to other people living in the same place plays a big part in forming a personal identity.
This topic was a subject of exploration in a student project designed by graphic designer Lenka Navrátilová. As a Czech, however currently living in Slovakia, she couldn’t help herself and decided to express her opinion about her personal identity. In the publication “CZECHS” ("ČEŠI") she processes in a cheeky manner the specifications of Czech nation as she sees it with her own eyes.
On 384 pages of her book she presents seventy characteristics in a form of collages and short texts, each from different perspectives of a men, women and children. Besides that, Lenka serves general information, in some of the characteristics she reveals deeper bindings and works with photos of her family, which she considers as the ideal prototype of the base construction cell of Czech society. The result of that is an extra personal layer and value that she added to the content.
The big format of the book evokes some kind of a lexicon and its reading requires a real effort. In contrast with the format is the actual content of the book. Glossy low weight paper induces a feeling of holding a tabloid, which in my opinion, supports the chosen content and aesthetics.
We cannot consider the book “CZECHS“ as apremise that would be followed by an extensive and objective research. Finding characteristic elements was purely emotional based. However, it is important to understand the goals that stand at the beginning of her work. In the first place, it was Lenka’s need to express her citizenship and spread her joy and humor. In her own words, “My goal wasn’t ambitious, the goal was to reflected the core of my bachelor’s thesis.”
Lenka’s statement about the residents of her homeland is raw and full of sarcasm. And even though she approaches the issue from her personal experience, I can claim that the book “CZECHS” is up-to-date, true and funny observer into the society of one nation and it can tell us a lot about her as well.author of the text: Katarína Šuhajová