Jan Motal (born in 1984 in Ostrava) writes essays, focuses on art theory and media ethics, and teaches at universities in Brno and Olomouc. His work combines various approaches (especially M. Buber, A. Stevens, B. Latour, P. Bourdieu), but also anarchist political philosophy (P. Kropotkin, G. Landauer, D. Graeber, N. Chomsky). He is particularly interested in how art and media can contribute to dialogue in a culturally and class-divided society.
He studied screenwriting and dramaturgy at the Janáček’s Academy for Music and Performing Arts and religious studies at Masaryk University in Brno, CZ. For his dissertation he wrote a study comparing the concept of historical agency in the film essays of Chris Marker and Karel Vachek. He habilitated with the book Dialogue through Art (awarded by the festival of alternative art …příští vlna/next wave… as the book of the year in 2017). Then he has shifted his focus from the existential focus (monographs The Existential Theatre of Dreaming and Beauty in Film Documentary) to social criticism and neoliberalism (book Radical Dramaturgy).
For several years he has been contributing to various magazines, making documentaries for Czech Television, he has co-founded and runned a student radio station, and he has been advocating for community and alternative radio. But he has given that up and apart from teaching, he writes op-eds (a selection eas published in 2018 as Transparent Mirror) and essays. He occasionally translates (Laruelle, Buber) and writes poetry.
He is interested in media ethics and is a member of the Board of Experts of the Foundation for Independent Journalism, the Association of Regional Journalists and the Media Working Group of the Network for the Protection of Democracy. In 2021 he founded the Centre for Media Ethics and Dialogue at the Department of Media Studies and Journalism at the Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University.
The author of the photo is Kamil Košun