Kafka on holiday

Franz Kafka? The writer who lived in Prague and was sick all the time? We know a different Kafka, and we’d like to open a permanent exhibition in Zürau to introduce you to Kafka-globetrotter who liked going to the cinema, did sports and rode a motorbike.

  • Kafka on a beach in Denmark, 1914.

  • He always tried something new, such as fitness...

  • ...or sauna.

  • In 1909, he saw an aeroplane for the first time.

  • He enjoyed his holiday at Lago di Garda, Italy.

  • He saw this luxury hotel near Lago Maggiore.

  • In Paris, Kafka admired doubledeckers.

  • He was also in the climate spa in Merano.

  • He visited factories in Tetschen (Děčín).

  • In Milan, Kafka saw the Duomo and the Opera.

  • He also visited this mysterious island, Helgoland.

  • He went to Rigi Kulm, Switzerland..

  • In Berlin, Kafka saw this railway station.

  • He had a great time at the beach in Norderney.

  • He also went skiing to the Tatra Mountains.

  • Kafka also liked this view from Oybin, Germany.

  • His sister Ottla taught him to ride a motorbike.

EUR 929
pledged of EUR 31,834

2%

2% completed

34 contributors pledged

Community

Blšany, Ústecký kraj, Česká republika

Show all rewards

How it started...

In 2003, I, Judita Matyášová (journalist), met the photographer Jan Jindra. He told me he liked taking pictures of all the places Kafka had visited. What…? I could imagine Kafka travelling to Vienna but across Europe?

Soon I started reading Kafka’s diaries and letters to find out that Kafka was not the homebody we often think. He liked going to the cinema, enjoyed vegetarian meals, and admired planes. He travelled to Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark or even Romania.
For several years, Jan Jindra and I had been travelling in Kafka’s footsteps, and now we’d like to show you who he really was.

What’s our aim?

We’d like to open a permanent exhibition “Kafka on holiday” in a former oast house in the village of Siřem/Zürau where Kafka stayed for eight months.


Details

For 12 years, we’d been mapping all the places visited by Franz Kafka. We visited 70 sites across Europe where he spent his holidays or went on business trips, and we described our adventure in a book published by Academia in 2009.
But we felt it was not enough – we wanted to find an authentic place where Kafka lived and open a permanent exhibition there. We found such a place in the tiny village of Zürau, about 80 km from Prague. Kafka stayed there for eight months in 1917-1918, and he really liked the country life there – going for walks, sunbathing on a hill, helping his sister Ottla on a farm. This year, the local Franz Kafka club, led by David Herblich, offered us to mount the exhibition in a former oast house.
On the first floor, we’d like to open a permanent exhibition about Kafka’s stay in Zürau and his travels across Europe. The exhibition will introduce you to a different Kafka – an active man who liked travelling, going to the cinema, eating vegetarian food, and exercising. On the second floor, there will be an exhibition hall for artists who want to get inspired by this unusual, almost untouched place.


More information

We have hundreds of historical photographs and interesting stories about Kafka, but we need to rebuild the former oast house at first. Your money will be used to pay for the necessary repairs in the interior and to hire an architect specialized on industrial buildings, a stage designer, craftsmen, producers of exhibition panels, English and German translators, and producers of marketing materials.
If we collect more than 31,758 euros, we can start working on another aim: we’d like to build a residence for writers in Zürau. The village is magical also because it’s so untouched and far from the civilization. It’s an ideal place for authors who want to get inspired and write in peace. One of them will be chosen by an international committee and if we’re lucky, they will be able to come and spend a month in a place where Kafka lived already next year. The apartment is plainly furnished (with a bed, table, and a chair) and it needs a new bathroom. The money will be used to build the facilities.


Why are we doing it?

We keep hearing that Kafka was a grumpy and boring guy. But we’d like to change that!
Our aim is to present Kafka as an active man who was interested in a healthy life-style, ate vegetarian food, used to go to the cinema, and liked modern dances, rowing and sports. We’d also like to inspire people to read his texts and experience what we did: an amazing adventure with Franz on holiday!


Who are we?

Judita Matyášová works as a journalist for the Lidové noviny. She writes about cultural events and records the stories of Czechs who left their country in the 20th century.
In 2009, Judita Matyášová and Jan Jindra published a book about Franz Kafka and his travels, mapping about 70 places all over Europe. In 2013, Judita published a book about the fate of Czech Jewish children in Denmark, Přátelství navzdory Hitlerovi (Friendship in Defiance of Hitler).
She regularly lectures at Yad Vashem, in the Jewish Museum in Prague, in Stockholm or Copenhagen, and at the Anglo-American University in Prague.

Jan Jindra studied photography at the Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and created a series of thematic cycles exhibited both in the Czech Republic and abroad. Besides the Kafka project, he documents the places visited by Rainer Maria Rilke.
Jan Jindra also teaches photography at Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín; he is a co-ordinator of several international projects, e.g. the Novesta workshop in the former Baťa factory in Zlín, and curator of the exhibition presenting the life of Tomáš Baťa, jr. in the auditorium of the rector’s office at Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín.

News

Nov 9, 2015 Interview for German radio

http://www.radio.cz/de/rubrik/tagesecho/den-krallen-entkommen-ausstellungsprojekt-will-kafka-als-urlauber-zeigen

More

Oct 25, 2015 Our Kafka photogallery was selected for international website

http://www.boredpanda.com/franz-kafka_writer-who-travelled-around-whole-europe/

More

Comments

Choose reward for your contribution

  • 8 Kafka’s vegetable schnitzel

    Franz Kafka often visited vegetarian restaurants. He liked cabbage rolls, semolina porridge with raspberry juice, and vegetable schnitzel. We have prepared a vegetarian menu of his favourite dishes, including historical pictures. The recipes (in PDF) will be sent via e-mail.

    Reward delivery: In a month

    EUR 7.40
    (CZK 200)
  • 6 Sight-seeing with Kafka

    Two free tickets to our exhibition “Kafka on holiday“ in Zürau. Franz and his rural world will be waiting for you. You’ll learn where he went on trips, what he had for breakfast and who he was friends with. But this won’t be the end; you’ll see a lot more: 70 pictures of places where Franz spent his holidays or business trips. A voucher for two tickets (in PDF) will be sent via e-mail.
     

    Reward delivery: In a month

    EUR 11.10
    (CZK 300)
  • 5 Waiting for you

    During the eight months in Zürau, Kafka sent a lot of postcards. He asked his friends to came to visit, and wrote his parents what he had for breakfast and his fiancée how much he missed her. We’ve created 10 Zürau postcards for you from the year of 1917 when Kafka lived there. It’s up to you what you’ll write on them – maybe about how beautiful the place is or how much you miss someone. The postcards will be sent by post.
     
     

    Reward delivery: In a quarter

    EUR 14.81
    (CZK 400)
  • 3 Surprises on every corner

    Our map of Kafka’s favourite places in Zürau will help you find your way in his world. He had lunch in one house and wrote letters to friends in another one. He visited the neighbours across the yard and watched cats in the village square. You won’t get lost, all the places are easy to find with the map. The map will be sent by post.

    Reward delivery: In half a year

    EUR 22.21
    (CZK 600)
  • 3 Travelling across Europe with Franz

    This brochure is a knock-out. It contains 40 sites throughout Europe you can visit with Franz Kafka. For each site, you’ll find a brief description of what Franz was up to there. He admired cars in Paris, went to cinemas in Berlin, watched planes in Italy, and went skiing in the Tatras Mountains. The brochure also includes a map of Kafka’s favourite places in Zürau and a voucher for two free tickets to the Zürau exhibition. All the items will be sent by post.
     

    Reward delivery: In half a year

    EUR 33.31
    (CZK 900)
  • 17 from 20 Franz in love

    2 tickets to the theatre performance Kafka24 in the Dejvice Theatre (Dejvické divadlo) starring David Novotný and Lenka Krobotová. Performance in Czech.
    Two tickets to the Dejvice Theatre are a real gem, although not as precious as the one Kafka found at the end of his life – his last love, Dora. Together they dreamt about moving to Palestine, opening a restaurant, and living happily ever after. Voucher for the tickets will be sent by post.

    Reward delivery: In a month

    EUR 51.82
    (CZK 1,400)
  • 20 from 25 Jaromír 99 has found Kafka’s Castle

    Czech artist Jaromír 99 has his own theory about where Kafka’s Castle took place. The author of comics Alois Nebel created a black-and-white comics book after the novel by Kafka,  published by publishing house Labyrint. We have a copy for you, autographed by Jaromír. The book is in Czech version, the book will be sent by post.
     
     

    Reward delivery: In a month

    EUR 59.23
    (CZK 1,600)
  • 9 from 10 Kafka and Prague – the rower and the gardener

    What new can you learn about Kafka in Prague? A lot of things, it depends what you’re interested in: where Kafka’s favourite vegetarian restaurant and lookout point were situated, or what he liked about rowing and gardening. During our two-hour guided tour, we’ll visit Assicurazioni Generali, the former insurance company offices in Prague, where Kafka worked for several months and where we managed to locate his office. There’s a commemorative plaque on the third floor. The tour will be in Czech, German, English or Spanish. The tour voucher will be sent by e-mail.

    Reward delivery: In a quarter

    EUR 111.05
    (CZK 3,000)
  • 0 The Zürau labyrinth

    Are you afraid you can get lost in Kafka’s world? Don’t worry, we’ll take you to his favourite places in the village and tell you interesting stories about him. He admired the faces of goats and fussed over a mouse, but he loved cats. What was hidden in the granary? Who did he meet on the way from a pub? And who got on his nerves? You’ll learn all this during our three-hour guided tour in Zürau. The tour will be in Czech, German, English or Spanish. The reward includes: transportation of two people from Prague to Zürau and back, a guided tour of Zürau, 2 admission tickets to the “Kafka on Holiday“ exhibition, a map of Zürau, and the brochure Travelling across Europe with Franz. The tour voucher will be sent by e-mail; the other materials will be provided in Zürau.
     

    Reward delivery: In half a year

    EUR 148.07
    (CZK 4,000)
  • 5 from 5 Kafka’s village and hops

    Together, we’ll explore the hops village of Zürau and travel to the town of Saaz (Žatec, 17km from Zürau). Why? It’s a place directly related to what Kafka admired: growing hops. The tour will be in Czech, German, English or Spanish. The reward includes: transportation of two people from Prague to Zürau and Saaz and back, a guided tour of Zürau, 2 admission tickets to the “Kafka on Holiday“ exhibition, 2 admission tickets to the Temple of Hops museum in Saaz, and the brochure Travelling across Europe with Franz. The tour voucher will be sent by e-mail; the other materials will be provided in Zürau.
     

    Reward delivery: In half a year

    EUR 185.08
    (CZK 5,000)
  • 10 from 10 Kafka and Prague / Invite your friends!

    What new can you learn about Kafka in Prague? A lot of things, it depends what you’re interested in: where Kafka’s favourite vegetarian restaurant and lookout point were situated, or what he liked about rowing and gardening. During our two-hour guided tour, we’ll visit Assicurazioni Generali, the former insurance company offices in Prague, where Kafka worked for several months and where we managed to locate his office. There’s a commemorative plaque on the third floor. The tour will be in Czech, German, English or Spanish. The tour voucher for up to 12 people will be sent by e-mail.
     

    Reward delivery: In a quarter

    EUR 259.12
    (CZK 7,000)
  • 5 from 5 The Zürau labyrinth / Invite friends!

    Are you afraid you can get lost in Kafka’s world? Don’t worry, we’ll take you to his favourite places in the village and tell you interesting stories about him. He admired the faces of goats and fussed over a mouse, but he loved cats. What was hidden in the granary? Who did he meet on the way from a pub? And who got on his nerves? You’ll learn all this during our three-hour guided tour in Zürau. The tour will be in Czech, German, English or Spanish. The reward includes a guided tour for up to 12 people, 12 admission tickets to the exhibition, a map of Zürau, and the brochure Travelling across Europe with Franz. The tour voucher will be sent by e-mail; the other materials will be provided in Zürau.

    Reward delivery: In half a year

    EUR 296.13
    (CZK 8,000)
  • 0 My footprint in Zürau

    Kafka has gone down in the history of Zürau, and your name can stay there, too. Our exposition will include its own “Fame Board". Get your name on it! The reward includes: your name on the Fame Board, 2 admission tickets to the “Kafka on Holiday“ exhibition, a map of Zürau, the brochure Travelling across Europe with Franz, and Kafka’s vegetarian menu in PDF. The tickets and other materials will be sent by post.

    Reward delivery: In half a year

    EUR 370.16
    (CZK 10,000)
  • 0 For ever

    Kafka was a perfect observer, and he kept all the places he visited in his memory. He re-created each site in his texts. What do they look like today? We’ve explored them for you, and the photographer Jan Jindra took the photographs of places where Franz Kafka lived or spent his holidays. Choose a picture from his collection, and you’ll get it signed in the 50x60cm format, without adjustment. The photograph will be printed on classic photographic paper.
    You can choose your picture at http://www.janjindra.eu/journeys-of-franz-kafka/. Shipping and handling included.
     

    Reward delivery: In a quarter

    EUR 740.33
    (CZK 20,000)
  • 0 Mr. K. above your couch

    Kafka was a perfect observer, and he kept all the places he visited in his memory. He re-created each site in his texts. What do they look like today? We’ve explored them for you, and the photographer Jan Jindra took the photographs of places where Franz Kafka lived or spent his holidays. Choose a picture from his collection for your living room or above your couch. You’ll get it in the 100x150cm format, including backing and adjustment. The photograph will be printed on classic photographic paper.
    You can choose a picture at  http://www.janjindra.eu/journeys-of-franz-kafka/.
    The reward includes: an adjusted photograph, postage within the Czech Republic, shipping and handling across Europe, a series of Zürau postcards, the Czech-German catalogue Franz Kafka’s Travels/Wege des Franz. Postage outside Europe will be paid by the buyer.
     

    Reward delivery: In half a year

    EUR 1,480.66
    (CZK 40,000)
  • 1 from 1 The winner takes it all

    Franz Kafka worked for an insurance company Assicurazioni Generali, which had a branch office in Wenceslas Square, Prague, and the headquarters in Trieste, Italy. Franz spent hours and hours in his office and dreamt about getting promoted and going to Italy. In 2003, Jan Jindra photographed the original office just before the whole building was rebuilt. He managed to save an artefact from Kafka’s office: a window handle. The reward includes: the window handle in original packaging and 20 free tickets to the exhibition, the book Travelling with Franz Kafka, the Czech-German catalogue Franz Kafka’s Travels/Wege des Franz, a series of Zürau postcards, and delivery to any place you wish.                                         

    Reward delivery: In half a year

    EUR 5,922.64
    (CZK 160,000)