Karel Cudlín, Jan Dobrovský, Jan Mihaliček: Sweat, Tears, La Putyka


Three photographers from the 400 ASA association, Karel Cudlín, Jan Dobrovský and Jan Mihaliček, documented the struggle of the La Putyka circus ensemble during covid lockdowns. A record of the life of a circus that found itself without its spectators is forwarded by Jakub Železný’s text.



Title: Pot, slzy, La Putyka
Authors: Karel Cudlín, Jan Dobrovský, Jan Mihaliček
Publication date: 5. 12. 2022
Size: 275 x 180 mm
Pages: 104
ISBN: 978-80-907814-1-2

During a time that was almost liquidating for many cultural industries, the actors of the La Putyka circus company decided to continue their activities. Despite strict anti-covid measures that banned the gathering of people – and therefore made it impossible to visit theatres, cinemas and circuses – Prague’s modern circus La Putyka continued its programme and experimented with show formats. For example, the actors performed in the window displays of Prague’s shops prepared a live program for public address systems in the Czech countryside or streamed the performance of one actor, who was continuously on stage for 24 hours. 400 ASA photographers followed these experiments for a year.

Author’s Bio:

Karel Cudlín

freelancer, photographer, teacher

He was born in 1960. After graduating from FAMU in 1987, he worked mainly in documentary photography. Between 1996 and 2003 he was one of the official photographers of president Václav Havel. He has received many awards over the years, most recently by the Association of Professional Photographers for his lifetime contribution as an essential figure of Czech photography. He regularly exhibits his photographs, publishes books and works in television and film. He is a founding member of the 400 ASA association.

Jan Dobrovský

photographer, entrepreneur, former journalist

He was born in 1960. He trained as a cattle feeder, and since the late 1970s he has been taking black-and-white documentary photography. He was active in dissent and published in samizdat, after 1989 he worked in the media. Later in the 1990s he left his work as a journalist and devoted himself to business. At the beginning of the millennium, he once again started focusing on photography. He is the Chairman of the Collegium of the Memory of Nations at the Post Bellum organisation, an NGO that documents the memories of witnesses of important historical phenomena. He is a founding member of the 400 ASA association.

Jan Mihaliček

freelancer, photographer

He was born in 1965. After graduating from high school, he photographed the skateboard and snowboard communities in Czechoslovakia and took photographs of the political opposition activities before 1989. After the Velvet revolution, he worked in the media and photographed war conflicts around the world. He won several Czech Press Photo awards. Now he mainly documents the missions of Czech medical professionals in Africa and the Middle East. He is a founding member of the 400 ASA association.

© 2020 400 ASA