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VIDEO: Remembering 1918: Turning point for Europe II. (11. 4. 2018)  14/04/18

What is the meaning of 1918 for today’s European politics and societies? What is the role of this history in envisioning Europe of the 21st century? Historians, journalists, teachers and other speakers from 7 European countries compared their perspectives and discussed the contemporary relevance of 1918, especially with regard to the interpretations ascribed to 1918 throughout the 20th century. Discussion: Understanding of the year 1918 in Western and Central Europe. Are there differences in understanding the 1918 between Western and Central Europe? If so, what are they and how are they reflected in different approaches to today’s reality? Is the year 1918 also perceived as the year of emergence of new states in Western Europe? How was the breakdown of old empires viewed in Belgium and Finland? Moderator: Pavlína Kvapilová (journalist). Speakers: Machteld Venken (associate professor at University Vienna), Kalle Kallio (director of the Finnish Labour Museum Werstas), Václav Kuneš (history teacher), Lukasz Jasina (historian). More

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PHOTO: Jiří Křižan: The Shadow  11/04/18

Jiří Křižan’s novel Stín (The Shadow) is the powerfully autobiographical story of an orphaned country boy raised by his old-world, fair-minded grandfather interspersed with “half-witted” tales from alternative military service. It is a narrative that evokes an almost physical sense of what it is like to grow up on the margins of society as a stigmatised “class enemy” and second-class “former person” due to political tyranny. Jiří Křižan (1941–2010) was one of the most distinctive Czech screenwriters of the second half of the 20th century (e.g., Shadows of a Hot Summer, 1977, dir. František Vláčil; Signum laudis 1980, dir. Martin Hollý; Sekal Has to Die, 1998, dir. Vladimír Michálek) and a leading representative of the pre-Velvet Revolution opposition (initiator of a January 1989 campaign to have Václav Havel released from jail, founding member of Civic Forum). More

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PHOTO: Roland Galharague at Václav Havel Library  21/03/18

Roland Galharague have visited the Václav Havel Library on Wednesday 21st of March 2018. More

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PHOTO: Ivan Binar – Revolution!  16/03/18

Reading from his new novel by Ivan Binar. Revoluce! (Revolution!) is a painfully humorous book about how a joy-filled walk in the forest can suddenly turn into an existential horror. It doesn’t take much: in the deep forest, with gentle birdsong in the background, an ordinary upstanding young man meets two single-minded police officers carrying out a task, which is creating and uncovering the enemy within…The Charter 77 signatory and author Ivan Binar was imprisoned in the 1970s for sedition that he was meant to have committed during the musical Son of the Regiment. He was a Radio Free Europe editor while in exile and became a freelance writer following his return. He is one of the few contemporary authors focused on what might be dubbed the Christian roots of our civilisation. In his view, life, no matter how hard, has meaning; revenge is not a solution and leads at best to a chain of further injustices. While in his novels Binar frequently moves between very bizarre or dreamlike milieus, the effort to get to the essence of human existence is a constant. More

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PHOTO: The Ferdinand Peroutka Prize: Investigative Journalism Under Threat?  08/03/18

Andrej Babiš’s purchase of the company Mafra, the subsequent exodus of journalists to smaller, mainly print media outlets, pressure on public service media over their investigative programmes, be they Reportéry ČT or 168 hodin and the recent case of Janek Kroupa at Czech Radio – all of this has in recent times highlighted the importance of investigative journalism in contemporary Czech society. These issues were the focus of a discussion organised every year following the presentation of the Ferdinand Peroutka Prize by the Václav Havel Library and the Ferdinand Peroutka Society, which bestows the award. Confirmed speakers this year include the fresh recipient of the prize Jana Klímová, an investigative journalist with Czech Radio, and the journalists Marek Wollner and Jiří Kubík. The evening was hosted by Jan Pokorný. More

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Daniel Cohn-Bendit à Bibliothèque Vaclav HavelThe Faces of Resistance