Convict

Illustration
  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: March 6, 2017, 19:00 – 21:00

In the last century individuals were faced with a cruel choice often accompanied by the threat of the supreme punishment. Many avoided injustices, quietly observing the march of history with their heads bowed. But not university professor Růžena Vacková.

A brave woman, she wasn’t broken by either the tyranny of the Nazi occupation or 15 years in Communist prisons. We are mainly aware of her story thanks to the novelist and writer Milena Štráfeldová and her book Trestankyně (Convict). Presenting the book alongside her will be journalist, teacher and philosopher Daniel Kroupa, who knew Růžena Vacková personally.

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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

What Price Human Rights?