HomeHavel´s Place / České Budějovice

České Budějovice

Lavička VH Budějovice

  • address:: USB, Branišovská 1645 / 31a, České Budějovice, Czech Republic
  • installation date: June 11, 2014
  • foto:: Václav Havel Library / Ondřej Němec

At 11:00 on Wednesday 11 June, a Havel’s Place was ceremonially unveiled on the campus of the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice. České Budějovice became the fifth city in the world, and the University of South Bohemia the second university (after Georgetown University in Washington), where the piece – two armchairs linked by a round table with a Linden tree growing through its centre – will remember the life and work of Václav Havel. Despite tropical weather, several hundred people attended the unveiling, chief among them academics, students and colleagues and friends of Václav Havel.

The Václav Havel Library was represented in České Budějovice by Karel Schwarzenberg, one of its founders, executive director Marta Smolíková and editor Anna Freimanová. Karel Hvížďala, who interviewed Václav Havel for the book Disturbing the Peace, spoke at the unveiling, as did Bořek Šípek, the designer of Havel’s Place. Honoured guests included Sister Angelika and Sister Evangelista, who looked after Václav Havel in the final days of his life; Bishop Jiří Paďour, who for years studied at the Theatre Faculty at the Academy of Performing Arts alongside Václav Havel; Martin Palouš, chairman of the board of directors of the Václav Havel Library and founder of the Václav Havel Center at Florida University; Petr Kolář, former Czech ambassador to Sweden, the USA and Russia; former MPs Jan Ruml, Martin Bursík and Kateřina Jacques; former presidential chancellor Ivo Mathé; and the honorary chairman of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Rudolf Zahradník.

Speech on receiving the Indira Gandhi Prize, New Delhi

„Many Europeans and Americans today are painfully aware of the fact that Euro-American civilization has undermined and destroyed the autonomy of non-European cultures. They feel it was their fault, and thus feel they have to make amends through a kind of emotional identification with others, through accommodating them, through trying to ingratiate themselves, through a longing to “help” them in one way or another. To my mind, this is a false way of going about it… It contains… the same familiar feeling of superiority… It is inverted colonialism. It is an intellectual spasm. I think we will all help one another best if we make no pretences, remain ourselves, and simply respect and honour one another, just as we are. “

Václav Havel:
Speech on receiving the Indira Gandhi Prize, New Delhi, February 8, 1994

Havel—Prigov and czech experimental poetry