Master of Fine Arts Hana Hamplová

* 1951

  • "A road was supposed to be built in Stromovka. On Voice of America and Free Europe, they talked about people coming together and not wanting the road. Of course! Because if you let the builders into Stromovka, Stromovka will fall. We were against it, and there was always a protest at three or four. I've been to one of them. It was, I can't help it, funny. That tree was completely surrounded by cops, the palce was green with cops more than trees. In front of the demolished Slechtovka sat a group of people, about forty of them. Then one of them got up, he had this towel, and it said, 'We're not going to give the tree!' He went with the towel, and we followed him, about 20 or 50 meters, before they threw us out and took us away. It was just absurd! Because the protest itself was funny."

  • I was working a job – the technical term was 'tailcoach'. That was the guy who was in the studio pulling the camera cables. That's pretty important, because in these productions, the camera moves and the cables can get tangled. There's a technical force, a tailcoach, who moves the cable. And the camera assistants were in a higher position. They were the ones who dragged the big cows up to the cameraman and cued him from the script. Which was a perfectly easy job, it wasn't too hard. I, the career type, thought, I want to be a studio camera assistant. I went to the Kafka’s wine bar with those guys. The debate came up about this, and one of them said, 'Look, you're never going to be one of us.' And I said, 'Hey, but explain to me why? It's not a hard job.' – 'Hey, we get a woman in there, and we're fucked with the money. Then they say a woman can do it, and we lose our position.' This has been made clear to me. Which, in general, beneath the surface of professional employment, breathes."

  • "The Communist Party Central Committee was completely surrounded by soldiers standing two meters apart. There were some armored men and so on, those soldiers were so put together. I got there with a group of protesting citizens, there was some talk, there was sitting first, then the group got up and started singing the national anthem and they marched to the Central Committee. When we moved, the commanders instructed the soldiers to aim at us. It wasn't a large crowd, only about 50-100 people. We got to the soldiers by a meter, maybe two meters. Really close. And the guys I saw there were crying just like that. That must have been a terrible problem they got themselves into. There were all sorts of rumors about where the soldiers went, that they didn't go home. I think as a life lesson it must have been strong."

  • Full recordings
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    Praha, 11.03.2020

    duration: 02:12:53
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
  • 2

    Praha, 25.06.2020

    duration: 02:00:16
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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The soldiers were pointing guns at us, and they were in tears.

Hana Hamplová in 1990
Hana Hamplová in 1990
photo: archiv pamětnice

Photographer Hana Hamplová was born Hana Hovorková on June 28, 1951 in Prague. As a child, she spent two years in Beijing from 1956 to 1958, where her father worked in a managerial position in the construction of film studios. Tragically, the father died in a plane crash on his return in the autumn of 1958, so the witness grew up with only her mother and older brother. From the age of sixteen she was interested in photography and attended a photography club led by Ján Šmoke, who later became her teacher at FAMU. In the first days after the warsaw pact troops invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968, Hana spent time on the streets of Prague, photographing a group of people and Russian soldiers. She also photographed the funeral of Jan Palach in January 1969. The year after graduation she spent as a member of the technical staff at Czechoslovak Television, and in 1971 she was accepted to the camera field at FAMU. During her studies, she began to associate with a circle of artists who met in the Slavia café and elsewhere. Thanks to her husband Josef Hampl, she was even more accepted among artists. After graduating from FAMU, she briefly worked in television, but after the birth of her daughter she began earning extra money as a freelance photographer. She also collaborated with Vladimír Pistorius on an art solution for books published in his edition of Kramerius’s Expedition 1978. In 1985 she joined the dermatology clinic as a photographer, her task was to capture people affected by severe forms of skin diseases. After 1990 she again worked as a freelance photographer, focusing mainly on photographing works of art for catalogues, monographs and the like. In 2006, she began teaching photography at the school of advertising and artistic creation Michael.