Milena Bartlová

Milena Bartlová

How to Share a Revolution? – Communication between the educated and the illiterate during Hussitism

 

Reformations and revolutions stem from a widespread societal need for radical change, but they also require a theoretical foundation. This is formed by intellectuals, but how can they communicate their message in such a way that those who are uneducated, or even illiterate also understand them and join their cause? The Czech Hussite Reformation battled with this problem as well in the first half of the 15th century, when literacy was limited only to a small townsmen elite. Their communication channels were public performances and pictures, which enabled an emotional portrayal of intellectual content and convinced the masses of the urgency to change the established order. Unlike in Luther’s time, the Hussites didn’t have book printing at their disposal; however the situation was not very different in the early Soviet era in the 1920’s.

 

(Czech, 45 min, stage 2, simultaneous translation into English)

 

Milena Bartlová is an art history professor at Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. In 2015 her book Pravda zvítězila: výtvarné umění a husitství 1380-1490 (Truth Prevailed: Fine Art and Hussitism 1380-1490) was published. In it she deals with the question how to spread revolutionary ideas among predominantly illiterate people.