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Three candidates shortlisted for the 2023 Václav Havel Prize  05/09/23

The selection panel of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, which rewards outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights in Europe and beyond, has today announced the shortlist for the 2023 Award. Meeting in Prague today, the panel – made up of independent figures from the world of human rights and chaired by the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Tiny Kox – decided to shortlist the following three nominees, in alphabetical order: More

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Three candidates shortlisted for the 2022 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize  06/09/22

The discussion among the seven-member jury helmed by the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe centred on the importance of the issue of human rights during this tense period. The finalists include Vladimir Kara-Murza, a political prisoner and leading Russian democracy campaigner; Ukraine’s 5 AM Coalition, which gathers evidence of human rights abuses stemming from Russia’s invasion of the country; and Hungary’s Rainbow Coalition defending LGBTQIA+ rights. “This year’s selection reflects the central role that human rights play in the current European crisis,” says Michael Žantovský, jury member and executive director of the Václav Havel Library, which bestows the prize in cooperation with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Nadace Charty 77.

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The Other Europe  27/04/22

Dear Friends, After three years we have completed the international project The Other Europe, during which, in cooperation with partner institutions, we have processed and made public recordings of interviews shot in 1987 and 1988 behind the Iron Curtain, and in exile, with important representatives of the opposition and the arts, as well as random citizens. Over those three years we have prepared video, audio and text of 106 interviews in speakers’ native languages and English translation. Despite public health restrictions in the Covid period, we have jointly prepared 16 international conferences and public presentations in six Central and Eastern European states. More

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From Schuman to Havel – what next?  16/02/22

The Václav Havel Library is a proud partner of the project Beyond Robert Schuman’s Europe More

Program for January 2024<>

entry-free

Launch of Jana Patočková Book on Theatre

Launch of Jana Patočková Book on Theatre

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 4, 2024, 18:00 – 20:00

Introduction of Svět na divadle ukázat, a celý... (Show the World in Theatre, and In Toto…), an anthology of essays by the acclaimed theatre studies expert and journalist Jana Patočková. The editor of the book and author of its afterword, Eva Stehlíková, says of the writer: “Her criticism and studies are characterised by the high degree of exactingness, and the flawless familiarity with the topic, with which she connects current events on the stage with the history of plays’ production, careful attention to detail and a secure hierarchy of values. It is also a mighty experience to read her polemics with today’s critics, whom she often accuses of superficiality, cosiness and ignorance of context. The reader is offered a highly personal testimony about theatre from the 1960s to the present, as well as a testimony on critical responsibility and the constant nature of ethical criteria.”

The book also includes reviews or analyses of several Havel productions and the film version of Odcházení (Leaving).

The book will be presented by editors Barbara Topolová and Kamila Černá, while Jana Machalická and Vladimír Just will discuss the writer and her work.

Ukraine as Task

Ukraine as Task

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 9, 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

A discussion forum with Rostislav Prokopjuk on Ukraine’s past, present and future. For the names of guests, visit www.vaclavhavel.cz prior to the event.

Presentation of A Resilient Society: Between Helplessness and Tyranny

Presentation of A Resilient Society: Between Helplessness and Tyranny

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 10, 2024, 18:00 – 20:00

The crises we are going through force us to think about what kind of society we are, and – if we are to face them – whether we have anything to draw. In public debates we encounter various analyses of Czech society: we are described as a divided, fragmented, narcissistic or impoverished society; in other contexts, there is talk of a fluid, accelerated, opportunistic or exhausted society. The documentary research that gave rise to the book Odolnáspolečnost. Mezi bezmocí a tyranií (A Resilient Society: Between Helplessness and Tyrannyexplored, via interviews with influential actors in various spheres of public life, what the preconditions are for being a resilient society. Rather than an academic interpretation of the term “societal resilience”, or a general opinion survey, this research adopted a different approach. It focused on a detailed mapping of practical knowledge about what works in Czech society, what is available but needs to be further developed, and what we need to change, if we want to avoid two extremes in relation to crises: falling into powerlessness in the face of them; or replacing crises with a struggle for domination of one over the other.

Guests: The book’s authors Barbora Baronová and Alice Koubová, as well as Jiří Šedivý (European Defence Agency) and Anna Kárníková (Hnutí DUHA – Friends of the Earth), who took part in the book as interviewees.

Free Ilham Tohti: An Evening for Ilham Tohti

Free Ilham Tohti: An Evening for Ilham Tohti

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 15, 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

Ilham Tohti is a publicly known Uyghur intellectual from China and the laureate of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize for 2019. For over 20 years he has been engaged in developing dialogue and understanding between the Uyghurs and the Chinese. For this, he was sentenced to life in prison in a two-day rigged trial in 2014.

The 10-year anniversary of his unjust imprisonment will be marked at the Václav Havel Library by IlhamTohti’s daughter Jewher Ilham, Enver Can, IlhamTohti’s tireless defender and president of the IlhamTohti Institute, Vice President of the Senate of the Czech Parliament Jiří Oberfalzer, Ambassador of the United States of America Bijan Sabet, Deputy Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib and Ondřej Klimeš, Sinologist and Uygur expert from the Oriental Institute of the Academy of Sciences.

Kateřina Procházková, journalist and analyst with the SINOPSIS project, will moderate the discussion.

The evening will be held in Czech and English with simultaneous interpretation.

Debate with Respekt

Debate with Respekt

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 16, 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

Discussion with editors from the weekly Respekt and their guests. For more details and the names of guests, visit www.vaclavhavel.cz prior to the event.

Václav Havel Reads Temptation – Accompanied by the Plastic People

Václav Havel Reads Temptation – Accompanied by the Plastic People

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 17, 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

Ceremonial presentation of a unique audio recording

Václav Havel wrote Temptation, a now legendary variation on the Faust myth, in 1985. Shortly afterwards he asked the rock band The Plastic People of the Universe (PPU) to compose and record music for the planned world premiere at Vienna’s Burgtheatr. They did so, though in the end director Hans Kleber decided to use just to use a number of fragments. PPU founder Mejla Hlava’s music wasn’t heard in Havel’s Temptation until 1999, under the direction of Andrej Krob at the Klicper Theatre in Hradec Králové. However, that was a different age – and different music. 

The label Guerilla Records has managed to acquire not only the original tape of PPU music but also a recording of Temptation read by Havel himself in 1985. This combination gave rise to anextraordinarily compelling “audio performance” that listeners can visit at any time of day and regardless of the season.

The evening will open with the songs of Sylvie Krobová. The audio book Václav Havel & The Plastic People of the Universe: Temptation will be ceremonially presented by Vladimír “Lábus” Drápal of Guerilla Records and Anna Freimanová of the Václav Havel Library. The actual “baptism” will be carried out by PPU bandleader Josef Janíček, who will also play a few songs acoustically, and cellist Tomáš Schilla, who took part in the Temptation recording. 

The audience can also look forward to the screening of a short video from a band rehearsal attended by Václav Havel that was shot in December 1985 by Jan Kašpar. 

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with Guerilla Records.

The Free Academy: Kateřina Sam

The Free Academy: Kateřina Sam

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 18, 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

The Secret Language of Plants, Insects and Birds

Food interactions, and the communication involved in them, play a vital role in maintaining balance and supporting diversity in natural ecosystems. Imbalances in predator-prey interactions can impactnutrient cycling and various plant characteristics. Bats, birds and ants are undoubtedly among the most significant insectivorous predators, the disappearance of which can affect insect prey populations and, later, plants. Plants, however, defend themselves vigorously against herbivorous insects, and communicate in a variety of ways with predators higher up the food chain about the presence of insects.

Kateřina Sam is a Czech scientist, field biologist and ecologist at the Biological Centre of the CAS and the Faculty of Science of the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice. She explores the untold relationships in nature. In the rainforests of Papua New Guinea and other exotic places around the world she studies the connections between carnivorous birds and insects, or maps the reaction of trees when they are deprived of caterpillars. Forbes magazine has ranked her as one of the best contemporary Czech scientists and she is among a small group of Czech scientists who have been awarded a prestigious ERC grant.

Piro Milkani: Life Like In a Movie

Piro Milkani: Life Like In a Movie

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 22, 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

The book Život jako ve filmu (Life Like In a Movie) is a remarkable collection of memoirs by the well-known Albanian director Pir Milkani, who studied in Prague in the late 1950s and served as Albania’s ambassador to the Czech Republic and Slovakia in the late 1990s. 

Milkani’s fascinating life story, which is closely linked to the Czech milieu, is laid out in more than 20 chapters. He brings a number of personal memories of many famous Czech, Albanian and European personalities from the field of cinema and politics (e.g., actress Ema Černá, Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni, Václav Havel and others), but the book also captures the interesting fates of some ordinary Czechs and Albanians. Written with insight and nostalgia, the book offers the Czech reader a unique insight into the conditions in the once isolated Albania, into its cultural realities, which are virtually unknown in this country. It also captureswell how Czechoslovakia was considered a culturally advanced and relatively liberal country at the end of the 1950s, from the Albanian point of view. This perspective can also be very valuable for the perception of one’s own past. From the point of view of Czech-Albanian relations, the book is an absolutely crucial source proving that the two nations are linked by a notable tradition of cooperation, which is, however, completely unknown, especially in our country. Piro Milkani himself is the embodiment of this tradition. 

Excerpts from the book will be read by Bára Štěpánová in the presence of the author Piro Milkani.

Jana Tomsová will moderate the event.

Debate N: Has Taiwan Chosen China?

Debate N: Has Taiwan Chosen China?

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 23, 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

Will the world be closer to another war after 13 January 2024, or will we breathe a sigh of relief? And what if both things happen? Taiwan’s presidential election could decide the future of us all. It’s no coincidence that it’s being described as the most riveting, and hardest to call, election. Find out for yourself at the January Debate N at the Václav Havel Library, moderated by Magdalena Slezáková from the foreign desk of Deník N.

With the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes on History, Memory and Freedom: Children and grandchildren. Totalitarianism and trans-generat

With the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes on History, Memory and Freedom: Children and grandchildren. Totalitarianism and trans-generat

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 25, 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

European and Czech history of the 20th century is framed by the suffering of two world wars and the horrors of totalitarian regimes, especially communism and national socialism, which were characterised by genocidal features (the Gulag, the holocaust). In Czechoslovakia, too, hundreds of thousands of people fell victim to these monstrous ideologies between 1938 and 1989, and their descendants carry with them various traumas that, with few exceptions, are not reflected on, explored or healed in the Czech context. Therefore, as part of a series of debates called CIRCUS ÚSTR, the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (ÚSTR is its Czech acronym) is raising the issue of trans-generational trauma in cooperation with the Václav Havel Library.

Guests: psychologist Zuzana Peterová, historian Pavla Plachá and historian and writer Petr Placák

Moderated by historian and philosopher Petr Hlaváček, director of the Department of Research and Education at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes.

The Olga Havlova Library, or Hrobka

The Olga Havlova Library, or Hrobka

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 26, 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

The folk self-help library Hrobka (the Tomb) was founded by Olga Havlová in the 1980s as a protest against official culture, influenced in part by her passion for so-called decadent trash culture. With the active support of fellow artists and intellectuals, including Olinka and Andrej Stankovič, Petruška Šustrová, Vratislav Brabenec and Zbyněk Benýšek, samizdat books began to proliferate and many banned authors who were not allowed to publish officially found refuge at Hrobka. During the desert that was normalisation, a distinctive cult began to spread among admirers of their unconventional work. Olga Havlová and her friends held stylish parties andcostume evenings and arranged live paintings, harvest festivals and “masopust” carnivals. The magazine Nový brak (New Pulp) began to circulate in the underground and independent intellectuals even made a horror movie, the black and white Lilian.

Hrobka and its activities will be discussed by writers Ivan Adamovič and Ivo Fencl and journalist Luděk Bednář.

Chaired by Martin Jiroušek, journalist and horror buff.

An Iron Spike in the Body of the Era: Lenin’s Life and Long Shadow

An Iron Spike in the Body of the Era: Lenin’s Life and Long Shadow

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 29, 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

On January 24, it will be 100 years since the death of the man of whom Ferdinand Peroutka wrote that “he penetrated the body of the era like a sharp spike”. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the mastermind of the Bolshevik coup in Russia, imprinted his fixed ideas on a state that gradually turned into a world power under the name of the Soviet Union, to the misfortune of hundreds of millions. In a debate looking back at Lenin’s personality and times, threeguests will reflect on the causes and effects of the Bolshevik Revolution. What role did it play in the Russian historical story and in the history of the world? How is Lenin’s “work” perceived in contemporary Russia? Why was Lenin criticised by Vladimir Putin? We will touch on these and other questions with historian Daniela Kolenovská, political geographer Michael Romancov and journalist Libor DvořákDavid Svoboda will chair the discussion.

Let’s Get Stuck In!, or Literature and Politics Today

Let’s Get Stuck In!, or Literature and Politics Today

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 30, 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

Josef Chuchma’s Quarterly

Nothing is as it used to be. Does literature have any aesthetic autonomy left? 

Literary criteria in the Czech Republic (and not only in the Czech Republic) are undergoing a certain revision. It is as if it no longer matters how a work is written, what its aesthetic qualities are, to what extent a text can be a microcosm in its own right. In the public sphere, attention is afforded to works that meet notions of what is “supposed” to be written about today – above all, whether they fulfil the current notions of what is right and ethical; the word empathy is the incantation. Again, whether the creator is a good citizen, whether he/she does not say or do something “unacceptable” in public, is becoming crucial.

At the same time, we are witnessing yet another revision – and a more fundamental or far-reaching one. Literary history will never be the same again, simply because the era of strong male dominance is over and historical material is being reassessed.

However, the programme does not wish to be a conservative defender and apologist for the old order. Rather it is driven by an interest in the process of transformation of literary criteria as a picture of changing societal and political orders.

Ideally it could be a dialogue between those who “lived it here” and those who “will live it here”.

Ignatieff, Rupnik, Matějčková. Finding Solace in Dark Times

Ignatieff, Rupnik, Matějčková. Finding Solace in Dark Times

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 31, 2024, 18:00 – 20:00

How to find consolation in an era without faith? In his book On Consolation: Finding Solace in Dark, a series of reflections on writers, artists, musicians and their works – from the books of Job and Psalms to Gustav Mahler, Albert Camus, Primo Levi and Václav Havel – acclaimed author and historian Michael Ignatieff shows how throughout time people in extreme situations turned to one another as a source of hope and resilience. He brings their stories into the present with the conviction that we can revive these traditions of consolation as we face the anxiety and uncertainty of our fractious 21st century.

The Czech edition of the book (entitled útěšejakžít s nadějí v temných časech), issued by the Kalich publishing house, will be presented by Michael Ignatieff together with his guests, French political scientist and historian Jacques Rupnik and Czech philosopher Tereza Matějčková.

The debate will be moderated by Michael Žantovský.

Havel Channel

Havel Channel je audiovizuální projekt Knihovny Václava Havla, jehož cílem je šířit myšlenkový, literární a politický odkaz Václava Havla, bez ohledu na vzdálenost, zeměpisné hranice či nouzové stavy. Jeho páteř tvoří debaty, vzdělávací projekty a rozhovory. Velký prostor je věnován též konferencím, autorským čtením, záznamům divadelních inscenací a koncertům. Audiovizuální projekt Knihovny Václava Havla Havel Channel se uskutečňuje díky laskavé podpoře Karel Komárek Family Foundation.

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Publications / E-shop

The central focus of the Library’s publishing programme is the life and work of Václav Havel, his family and close collaborators and friends. For clarity, the programme is divided into six series: Václav Havel Library Notebooks, Václav Havel Library Editions, Student Line, Talks from Lány, Václav Havel Documents, Works of Pavel Juráček and Václav Havel Library Conferences. Titles that cannot be incorporated into any of the given series but which are nonetheless important for the Library’s publishing activities are issued independently, outside the series framework.

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Conferences & prizes

Illustration

Václav Havel European Dialogues

The Václav Havel European Dialogues is an international project that aims to initiate and stimulate a discussion about issues determining the direction of contemporary Europe while referring to the European spiritual legacy of Václav Havel. This idea takes its main inspiration from Václav Havel’s essay “Power of the Powerless”. More than other similarly focused projects, the Václav Havel European Dialogues aims to offer the “powerless” a platform to express themselves and in so doing to boost their position within Europe.

The Václav Havel European Dialogues is planned as a long-term project and involves cooperation with other organisations in various European cities. Individual meetings, which take the form of a conference, are targeted primarily at secondary and third-level students, as well as specialists and members of the public interested in European issues.

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Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation to reward outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.

Illustration

Havel - Albright Transatlantic Dialogues

Since the first Václav Havel Transatlantic Dialogues at GLOBSEC and FORUM 2000 conferences last year, we have lost another stalwart advocate of the transatlantic bond and of the need to face threats to democracy and international order together on both sides of the Atlantic, the former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. In view of the close bond between Václav Havel and Madeleine Albright and, after Havel's death, between the Secretary and the Library, the Václav Havel Library, with the approval of Madeleine Albright's family, renamed and rebranded the program as The Havel-Albright Transatlantic Dialogues (HATD), after the two major figures with roots in Central Europe who have personified the bond. Together, Václav Havel and Madeleine Albright symbolize the transatlantic relationship and the fundamental values underpinning it perhaps better than any other two people in recent history. The upcoming Dialogues “The Indispensable Woman: The Legacy of Madeleine K. Albright”, at the FORUM 2000 conference on September 1, and at the “Havel and our Crisis” conference at Colby College, ME, on September 28, will thus become venues for a well-deserved tribute to the pair we all respected and admired.

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Václav Havel

Václav Havel
* 5. 10. 1936 Praha
† 18. 12. 2011 Hrádeček u Trutnova

1936
Foto
Václav Havel grew up
in a well-known, wealthy entrepreneurial
and intellectual family.
1951
Foto
Václav Havel completed primary schooling. Because
of his "bourgeois" background, options for
higher education were limited.
1951
Foto
Václav Havel worked as a chemical laboratory technician
while attending evening classes at a high school
from which he graduated in 1954.
1955
Foto
Václav Havel studied at the
Economics Faculty of the Czech
Technical University in Prague.
1960
Foto
Václav Havel began working at Prague's Theatre on
the Balustrade, first as a stagehand and later as
an assistant director and literary manager.
1963
Foto
Havel´s first play The Garden
Party was staged at Prague's
Theatre on the Balustrade.
1964
Foto
Václav Havel
married Olga
Splichalova.
1966
Foto
VH finished studies at at the
Theatre Faculty of the Academy of
Performing Arts in Prague .
1968
Foto
Václav Havel played an active role in
democratization and renewal of culture during the
era of reforms, known as Prague Spring.
1969
Foto
Havel's work were banned in Czechoslovakia. He
moved from Prague to the country, continued
his activities against the Communist regime.
1974
Foto
Václav Havel worked as a manual laborer
at a local brewery near Hrádeček in
the north of the Czech Republic.
1975
Foto
Václav Havel wrote an open
letter to President Gustav Husak,
criticizing the government.
1977
Foto
Václav Havel co-founded the Charter 77
human rights initiative and was one
of its first spokesmen.
1978
Foto
Václav Havel co-founded The
Committee for the Defense
of the Unjustly Prosecuted.
1979
Foto
Václav Havel was imprisoned several times
for his beliefs, his longest prison
term lasting from 1979 to 1983.
1989
Foto
Václav Havel emerged as one of the
leaders of the November opposition movement, also
known as the Velvet Revolution.
1990
Foto
Václav Havel is elected
President of Czechoslovakia on
December 29.
1993
Foto
Václav Havel is elected, after the
dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the first President
of the Czech Republic.
1996
Foto
On January
27, Olga
Havlova died.
1997
Foto
Václav Havel married Dagmar Veskrnova,
a popular and acclaimed Czech theatrical,
television and movie actress.
1999
Foto
Václav Havel enabled the entry of
the Czech Republic into the North
Atlantic Treat Organisation (NATO).
2003
Foto
Václav Havel left office after
his second term as Czech
president ended on 2 February 2003.
2004
Foto
Foundation of Václav
Havel Library in
Prague.
2004
Foto
The Czech Republic became the 35th
member State of the Council of
Europe on 30 June 1993.
2010
Foto
Václav Havel directed
a film adaptation of
his play Leaving.
2011
Foto
Václav Havel died at his
summer house Hrádeček in the
north of the Czech Republic.
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Educational projects

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Archive / Documentation centre / Research projects

Dokumentační centrum

The Václav Havel Library is gradually gathering, digitizing, and making accessible written materials, photographs, sound recordings and other materials linked to the person of Václav Havel.

  • 70541 records in total
  • 27469 of events in the VH's life
  • 2831 of VH's texts
  • 2125 of photos 
  • 403of videos
  • 568of audios
  • 6604of letters
  • 15101of texts about VH
  • 8256 of books
  • 40484of bibliography records

Access to the database of the VHL’s archives is free and possible after registering as a user. Accessing archival materials that exist in an unreadable form is only possible at the reading room of the Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, 110 00 Prague 1, every Tuesday (except state holidays) from 9:00 to 17:00, or by prior appointment.

We will be glad to answer your queries at archiv@vaclavhavel-library.org.

Illustration

Havel in a nutshell

The virtual exhibition Václav Havel in a Nutshell places the life story of Václav Havel in the broader cultural and historic context in four chronologically distinct chapters with rich visual accompaniment. The exhibition is supplemented by the interactive map Flying the World with Václav Havel, which captures in physical form Havel’s global “footprint”.

Illustration

Vladimir Hanzel's revolution

Collage of recollections, images and sound recordings from Vladimír Hanzel, President Václav Havel’s personal secretary, bringing the feverish atmosphere of the Velvet Revolution to life.

Illustration

Václav Havel Interviews

A database of all accessible interviews given to print media outlets by the dramatist, writer and political activist Václav Havel between the 1960s and 1989. The resulting collection documents the extraordinary life story of an individual, as well as capturing a specific picture of modern Czechoslovak history at a time when being a free-thinker was more likely to lead to jail than an official public post.

Illustration

Pavel Juráček Archive

The Pavel Juráček Archive arose in February 2014 when his son Marek Juráček handed over six banana boxes and a typewriter case from his father’s estate to the Václav Havel Library. Thousands of pages of manuscripts, typescripts, photographs, documents and personal and official correspondence are gradually being classified and digitalised. The result of this work should be not only to map the life and work of one of the key figures of the New Wave of Czechoslovak film in the 1960s, but also to make his literary works accessible in the book series The Works of Pavel Juráček.

The aim of the Václav Havel Library is to ensure that Pavel Juráček finds a place in the broader cultural consciousness and to notionally build on the deep friendship he shared with Václav Havel. Soon after Juráček’s death in 1989 Havel said of him: “Pavel was a friend of mine whom I liked very much. He was one of the most sensitive and gentle people I have known – that’s why I cannot write more about him.”  

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All about Library

The Václav Havel Library works to preserve the legacy of Václav Havel, literary, theatrical and also political, in particular his struggle for freedom, democracy and the defence of human rights. It supports research and education on the life, values and times of Václav Havel as well as the enduring significance of his ideas for both the present and future.

The Václav Havel Library also strives to develop civil society and active civic life, serving as a platform for discussion on issues related to the support and defence of liberty and democracy, both in the Czech Republic and internationally.

The main aims of the Václav Havel Library include

  • Organizing archival, archival-research, documentary, museum and library activities focused on the work of Vaclav Havel and documents or objects related to his activities, and carries out professional analysis of their influence on the life and self-reflection of society
  • Serving, in a suitable manner, such as through exhibitions, the purpose of education and popularisation functions, thus presenting to the public the historical significance of the fight for human rights and freedoms in the totalitarian period and the formation of civil society during the establishment of democracy
  • Organizing scientific research and publication activities in its areas of interest
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We believe that we are succeeding in fulfilling the vision of Václav Havel, who, when he founded the Library, declared that it only makes sense as a living organism that occupies an unmissable place in the whole of public and political life. We see this as a commitment and inspiration for the future. We would like to use the footage of our hundreds of events in our own internet TV channel, expand our publication programme, develop more e-learning series, start organising workshops for teachers... But all this will require considerable financial resources. That's why we decided to turn to our visitors and supporters for support.

Václav Havel

Support us with a financial donation

Does our work make sense to you and do you want to support the activities of the Vaclav Havel Library?

You can easily make a one-time payment by scanning the QR code.

Would you like to contribute regularly? Then we invite you to become a member of the Friends of the Vaclav Havel Library Club. What are the benefits of membership? Find out more.

Help us expand the archive

The Vaclav Havel Library manages an archive of writings, documents, photographs, video recordings and other materials related to the life and work of Vaclav Havel. This archive is predominantly in digital form. If you or someone close to you owns any original texts, correspondence, photographs, speeches or any other work by Vaclav Havel, we would be grateful if you could contact us.

You can donate in other ways too

Supporting a specific charitable or public benefit organization whose activities you appreciate or have been supporting for a long time is also possible through a will. This form of donation is quite common abroad, but in the Czech Republic this tradition is only just taking root.

Share information about us

The Vaclav Havel Library is open to media and promotional cooperation, mutual sharing of links, publishing our banners or information about our events.

For more information, please contact us.

Donations have their rules

At the Vaclav Havel Library, we uphold a transparent, responsible and ethical way of dealing with all those who contribute to fulfilling our purpose and implementing our strategy. Our code of ethics summarizes the basic rules of donations.

Get involved in volunteering

Would you like to get involved as a volunteer? That's great. We welcome anyone who wants to help our work.

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