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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

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Václav Havel Prize awarded to Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kalesnikava  27/09/21

The ninth Václav Havel Human Rights Prize – which honours outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights – has been awarded to Belarusian opposition leader and activist Maria Kalesnikava, the PACE press service reported. The 60,000-euro prize was presented at a special ceremony on the opening day of the autumn plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg. Maria Kalesnikava is one of the opposition leaders in Belarus and a member of the Co-ordination Council. She was the head of the campaign headquarters of former presidential nominee Viktar Babaryka, and has become one of the three female symbols of the Belarusian opposition and the struggle of the people of Belarus for civil and political liberties and fundamental rights. Accepting the award on her behalf, Maria’s sister Tatsiana Khomich thanked the award committee and said her sister would want to dedicate her win to all those in Belarus fighting for their rights: “This award is a sign of solidarity of the entire democratic world with the people of Belarus. It is also a sign to us, Belarusians, that the international community supports us, and that we are on the right track.”

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Three candidates shortlisted for the 2021 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize  31/08/21

The selection panel of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, which rewards outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond, has today announced the shortlist for the 2021 Prize. More

Program for May 2022<>

Patrik Linhart: Language in the Lion’s Maw

Patrik Linhart: Language in the Lion’s Maw

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 2, 2022, 19:00 – 21:00

The short stories and poems in the book Jazyk ve lví tlamě (Language in the Lion’s Maw) were written at a time when the author headed a Czech language course in Lviv while a war raged at the other end of Ukraine in Luhansk and Donetsk. While battles were taking place far away, the war was also present in Galicia… groups of soldiers at Lviv train station, the stories of veterans, war wounded. These stories are rhythmic with the author’s sense of the grotesque. “For us, Europeans, it’s an almost unreal feeling, oppressive, that bombs are falling so near us. What’s more for me it’s a deeply familiar city and that lunatic Jurko wants to fight! I saw him brandish a machete against birch trees… and I myself can stand up to such evil armed with only humour – otherwise I too will fall to it,” Patrik Linhart writes on the current situation in which the Russians are shelling Lviv.

Radim Kopáč, the book’s editor, will introduce the writer.

Music: Sklad by Walda (Northern Bohemian punk/alternative) live; Kozak System (punk rock, Ukraine) recorded.

Debate with Respekt

Debate with Respekt

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 3, 2022, 19:00 – 21:00

Discussion with editors from the weekly Respekt and their guests on a topical issue, in cooperation with the Václav Havel Library. For more details and the names of guests visit www.vaclavhavel.cz prior to the event.

Invisible: The Stories of Women Who Have Lost Their Homes

Invisible: The Stories of Women Who Have Lost Their Homes

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 4, 2022, 19:00 – 21:00

Their stories are frequently hidden from the public and almost invisible. A discussion exploring the tragic fates of women who have found themselves on the street. Taking part will be Kevin V. Ton, who last year won a Czech Press Photo prize for the series Maruška – Ordinary Life, mapping the world of a homeless woman. Alena Míková, who sells the Czech equivalent of The Big Issue, Nový Prostor, will share her life story.

Hosted by Martin Churavý.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the Committee of Goodwill – Olga Havlová Foundation.

Václav Havel European Dialogues: Information and democracy, Prague

Václav Havel European Dialogues: Information and democracy, Prague

  • Where: Modrá posluchárna, Univerzita Karlova, Celetná 20, Praha 1
  • When: May 10, 2022, 18:00 – 20:00

Never in history has so much information spread in such a short time among so many people. But it still feels like getting to the truth has never been so difficult. Alongside factual information, there is a vast amount of inaccuracies, false information, myths and deliberate untruths out there. For many people it is hard, if not impossible, to distinguish in this mess between that which is true or likely and that which is untrue and false. But can a state assume the role of guardian of the truth without irreparably violating civil rights and freedoms? What role should the EU play in this area? And in what kind of cases may it do so? Should classic and digital media bear responsibility for the veracity of the information they spread? Or is intensive, long-term education in neglected fields, such as logic, cognitive thinking and the philosophy of science, the only answer?

17.30 – 18.00 Registration

18.00 – 18.20 Opening: Tomáš Karásek, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, CU, Michael Žantovský, Director of the Václav Havel Library

18.20 – 18.30 Opening address: Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency

                     Opening address: Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya  Belarusian politician and activist, the main opposition candidate in the 2020 Belarusian presidential elections

18.30 – 19.55 Debate
Guests:
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya  Belarusian politician and activist, the main opposition candidate in the 2020 Belarusian presidential elections
Pavla Holcová – investigative journalist, founder of investigace.cz and recipient of many domestic and international awards including the Pulitzer Prize
Chair: Alice Němcová Tejkalová, journalist and academic, Faculty of Social Sciences, CU

19.55 – 20.00 Closing address: Michael Žantovský, Director of the Václav Havel Library

* The programme will take place in English and Czech with simultaneous interpretation into both languages. Free admission until the capacity of the hall is reached.

Václav Havel European Dialogues

● Dates: May 10 and 12, 2022
● Venues: Prague, Brno, Plzeň
● Organisers: The Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, and the Faculty of Education at the University of West Bohemia in Plzeň
● Partner: Representation of the European Commission in the Czech Republic

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. The project is conceived as long-term and takes place in cooperation with partners in various cities in the Czech Republic and the European Union. The meetings take the form of a debate and are targeted primarily at secondary and third-level students, as well as experts and members of the public interested in European affairs.

Václav Havel European Dialogues: Is truth a thing of the past?, Plzeň

Václav Havel European Dialogues: Is truth a thing of the past?, Plzeň

  • Where: Aula Fakulty pedagogické ZČU, Veleslavínova 42, Plzeň
  • When: May 10, 2022, 14:00 – 16:00

The increasingly thorny path to the truth is leading many, including a lot of thinkers, to conclude that the problem isn’t getting to the truth but truth itself. But can we do without the truth in a post-factual world, and what would the truth look like in such a world? And what would democracy look like if a politician's credibility were judged according to different criteria than the ability to objectively assess and communicate truthfully about the problems facing society? Without correlation to the realities of the natural world around us the truth becomes at best the truth of the majority, at worst the truth of the strongest. Can Europe get by without truth?

13.30 – 14.00 Registration

14.00 – 14.10 Opening: Pavel Mentlík, Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of West Bohemia

14.10 – 14.15 Greeting: Martin Baxa, Czech Minister of Culture

14.15 – 14.25 Opening address: Michael Žantovský, Director of the Václav Havel Library

14.25 – 15.55 Debate
Guests:
Jan Paďourek – security expert specialised on the intelligence services and security threats, teacher at the Czech Police Academy and the CEVRO Institute
Ondřej Kundra
Chair: Petr Hlaváček, historian and philosopher, Faculty of Education, University of West Bohemia

15.55 – 16.00 Closing address: Jáchym Topol, dramaturge of the Václav Havel Library

* The programme will take place in Czech. Free admission until the capacity of the hall is reached.

Václav Havel European Dialogues

● Dates: May 10 and 12, 2022
● Venues: Prague, Brno, Plzeň
● Organisers: The Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, and the Faculty of Education at the University of West Bohemia in Plzeň
● Partner: Representation of the European Commission in the Czech Republic

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. The project is conceived as long-term and takes place in cooperation with partners in various cities in the Czech Republic and the European Union. The meetings take the form of a debate and are targeted primarily at secondary and third-level students, as well as experts and members of the public interested in European affairs.

Ag Apolloni: Luminescent Hopes

Ag Apolloni: Luminescent Hopes

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 11, 2022, 19:00 – 21:00

In his work Kosovo native Ag Apolloni responds to the burning issue of the social and political impotence of the Balkans today, the breakdown of the education system, growing religious extremism and historical myth-making. He achieves all this with aplomb in his novels, poetry and plays.

He is by nature a bit of a punk, a bit of a lone wolf, but first and foremost a writer and academic who keeps to the background of tragic events, which he records accompanied by the tones of Eric Clapton’s guitar. A journalist, editor, editor-in-chief, university professor and above all a storyteller who is not afraid to stick his nose into things, Apollini will intersperse his stories with selected passages from his novel The Howl of the Wolf (published in a Czech translation by Albatros in 2019) and his new documentary novel with the working title Luminescent Hopes, which is set for translation.

Hosted by Orkida Backus Borshi, linguist and Albanian Studies expert, who translated The Howl of the Wolf into Czech.

Václav Havel European Dialogues: The truth of politics and the politics of truth, Brno

Václav Havel European Dialogues: The truth of politics and the politics of truth, Brno

  • Where: Univerzitní kino Scala, Moravské nám. 127, Brno
  • When: May 12, 2022, 18:00 – 20:00

Truth is often among politicians’ declared values, though it rarely appears in policy programmes and other documents of political practice. It frequently falls victim to electoral tactics, the courting of popularity and both domestic and international diplomatic considerations. But how great can the tension between politics and reality become before citizens lose trust in their representatives or, even worse, democracy itself? This problem is all the more complicated in the European Union, occurring not just at national but at union level, where domestic politicians, with an eye to ratings, like to shunt it.

18.00 – 18.05 Opening: Stanislav Balík, Dean of the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University

18.05 – 18.10 Greeting: Mikuláš Bek, Czech Minister for European Affairs

18.10 – 18.20 Opening address: Michael Žantovský, Director of the Václav Havel Library

18.20 – 19.55 Debate
Guests:
Peter Pomeranzev – UK writer and academic focused on research into disinformation and fake news, John Hopkins University, US
Marek Orko Vácha – head of the Institute for Ethics and Humanitarian Studies, 3 rd Medical Faculty, Charles University
Chair: Petra Mlejnková, political scientist and academic, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University

19.55 – 20.00 Closing address: Michael Žantovský, Director of the Václav Havel Library

* The programme will take place in English and Czech with simultaneous interpretation into both languages. Free admission.

Václav Havel European Dialogues

● Dates: May 10 and 12, 2022
● Venues: Prague, Brno, Plzeň
● Organisers: The Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, and the Faculty of Education at the University of West Bohemia in Plzeň
● Partner: Representation of the European Commission in the Czech Republic

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. The project is conceived as long-term and takes place in cooperation with partners in various cities in the Czech Republic and the European Union. The meetings take the form of a debate and are targeted primarily at secondary and third-level students, as well as experts and members of the public interested in European affairs.

Václav Havel Library at BRaK Book Festival

Václav Havel Library at BRaK Book Festival

  • Where: Nová Cvernovka, Račianska 78, Bratislava
  • When: May 14, 2022, 19:00 – May 15, 2022, 21:00

We will present new as well as tried and tested titles produced by the Václav Havel Library at the Nová Cvernovka arts centre in Bratislava at the BRaK festival, alongside other selected small Czech and Slovak publishing houses.

Evening of Romani Literature

Evening of Romani Literature

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 16, 2022, 18:00 – 20:00

Alongside excerpts from their works, Romani authors will discuss their experiences of publishing and presenting their own works with colleagues of Czech descent, as well as the response met by those books in the Romani and Czech reading communities.

Organised by the review Babylon in cooperation with Romea and the Václav Havel Library as part of the minorities literature project Tower of Babylon.

Launch N: Sea Blindness

Launch N: Sea Blindness

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 17, 2022, 19:00 – 21:00

The focus of Námořní slepota (Sea Blindness) is the overlooked significance of the sea for the development of trade and power. In the book author Michael Romancov, a well-known political geographer, also illuminates lesser-known connections between maritime history and economic networks in the contemporary world.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with Deník N.

Romas Kalanta and other “living torches” in the Soviet Union

Romas Kalanta and other “living torches” in the Soviet Union

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 18, 2022, 19:00 – 21:00

In Lithaunia’s Kaunas 50 years ago, on 14 May 1972, Romas Kalanta set himself on fire in protest at the Soviet occupation of Latvia and russification. His protest sparked days of public protests in Kaunas, which were violently quelled. Those events entered the history books as the Kaunas Spring and Kalanta is today known as Lithuania’s Palach. Other cases of “living torches” in the Soviet Union will also be recalled in this debate.

Taking part will be historian Petr Blažek from the Museum of 20th Century Memory, researcher and journalist Roman Laube, who has long been studying the history of alternative movements in the former Eastern Bloc, and Robert van Voren, a Dutch human rights activist, sovietologist and historian, professor of political science and Director of the Andrei Sakharov Research Center for Democratic Development at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania.

The Lithuanian ambassador to the CR, Laimonas Talat-Kelpša, will deliver the opening address.

A Václav Havel Library and Museum of 20th Century Memory series.

Jos Repertory Theatre: Audience

Jos Repertory Theatre: Audience

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 19, 2022, 19:00 – 21:00

The Nigerian actors representing Vaněk and Sládek are performing in a play written in an entirely different time, in 1975, and an utterly different context, when the author, like his hero Vaněk, was forced to roll barrels in a brewery in Trutnov. However their convincing testimony and understanding of the absurd mechanisms of totalitarian power attest to not just the universality of Havel’s ideas but also to the extent to which freedom, truth and love resonate in Nigerian society.

The Jos Repertory Theatre is one of Nigeria’s leading theatre companies.

Featuring Mark Musa and Sunny Adahson.

Directed by Patrick Jude Oteh.

Presented in English without subtitles.

A Meeting with Diana Phipps Sternbergová

A Meeting with Diana Phipps Sternbergová

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 23, 2022, 19:00 – 21:00

Dana Huňátová’s book Setkání s Dianou Phipps Sternbergovou (A Meeting with Diana Phipps Sternbergová) explores a distinctive member of an old Czech aristocratic family against the backdrop of modern history. The biographical story of Diana Phipps Sternbergová takes place from the middle of the last century until the present age. The writer presents fragments of Diana’s life during the dramatic decades of the 20th century. The Zásmuky and Častolovice stately homes were confiscated by the German occupiers during the war and nationalised by the Communists in 1948, when the Sternberg family managed to escape Communist repression to the West. Diana lived in various corners of the world and became a renowned interior designer. After returning to her homeland in 1990 she worked at the Office of the President under Václav Havel, where she chiefly focused on the interiors at Prague Castle and the Lány residence, as well as founding the Committee of Good Will with Olga Havlová.

The book’s editor Irena Tatíčková will host a conversation with Dana Huňátová and Diana Phipps Sternbergová.

Bishop Václav Malý will “baptise” the book.

Echo from the Library

Echo from the Library

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 24, 2022, 19:30 – 21:30

Debate series with editors from the weekly Echo and their guests in cooperation with the Václav Havel Library. Lenka Zlámalová will chair the discussion. For the topic and names of guests visit www.Václavhavel.cz prior to the event.

The Free Academy #2: Josef Šlerka on Mass and Social Media

The Free Academy #2: Josef Šlerka on Mass and Social Media

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 25, 2022, 19:00 – 21:00

Back in 1978, in The Power of the Powerless, Václav Havel reflected on the future of mankind in the long-term and global context. He speaks about the crisis of contemporary technical civilisation and the dangerous flood of information. In the second part of the lecture series the Free Academy Josef Šlerka will look at ways to avoid being enslaved by technology.

Meeting with Janek Kroupa

Meeting with Janek Kroupa

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 30, 2022, 19:00 – 21:00

Scarier than fiction: A crime novel inspired by politics

Čistí (The Virtuous), a crime novel by investigative journalist and screenwriter Janek Kroupa, lifts the curtain on Czech politics as well as the workings of the country’s prison system, judiciary, police and world of business.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with Albatros Media.

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

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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.

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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

Illustration

Man of inspiration

This six-part series of educational videos introduces young viewers to the most important events in Czechoslovak history in the second half of the 20th century, with an accent on the human rights struggle. It is presented by singer and TV moderator Emma Smetana and choreographer and producer Yemi. The presenters of the English versions are native speakers.

Illustration

Year of Revolution

The year of the Velvet Revolution from the perspective of young YouTubers. A series of seven video lessons aimed at elementary and secondary schools mapping the revolutionary year from January to December 1989 and introducing viewers to key moments in totalitarian Czechoslovakia’s transformation into a democratic country.

Illustration

Read Havel

A collection of short videos in which well-known young people in Czech public life present iconic and lesser-known texts by Václav Havel.

Illustration

Václav Havel here and now

A travelling series of discussions about VH and more with Michael Žantovský, intended for secondary school students, libraries and arts centres.

Illustration

Best Student Essay Competition

One of the key genres of Václav Havel’s work is essays – on literary, artistic, social, political, and spiritual topics. His essays, such as the The Power of the Powerless and A Word About Words, have become classic texts of Czech literature; they have been translated into tens of languages, and are among the few truly world-famous works of Czech culture. This is also why it is necessary to keep cultivating the essay genre in the Czech language – not in the sense of imitating Václav Havel’s writing, but in the spirit of his courage to name unpleasant problems and search for unconventional solutions to them. For this reason, the Václav Havel Library is announcing the next year of the literary competition for secondary students: the Václav Havel Library Prize for Best Student Essay.

Illustration

Václav Havel´s Bookshelves

The Václav Havel Little Libraries are a key new Václav Havel Library project aimed at establishing a nationwide network of elementary and secondary schools that, with the support of the VHL, will spread the legacy of Václav Havel among their pupils and students. The aim of the Little Libraries is to create in schools (on the model of the existing Václav Havel’s Places) book shelves on which the schools will gather both texts by Václav Havel and texts closely linked to him. They may also contain other written materials, audio and video recordings and photographs.

Illustration

Lets rock!

Are your students (whether at elementary, arts-focused elementary or secondary schools) interested in history? Do you have a theatre or film club at your school, or are you teaching young people who “just” like to act? If so, we cordially invite you to join the Václav Havel Library in celebrating in a creative manner the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia with the theatre-education project Tomorrow!

Illustration

Václav Havel – a Czech myth, or Havel in a Nutshell

This interactive workshop lasting for about 180 minutes takes place in the “Havel in a Nutshell” exhibition hall. Primary and secondary school students are divided into groups within which they deal with various “research” projects. Students work with selected texts and are provided with particular books. The workshop is related not only to the teaching of Czech history, but also to personal, literary, artistic and media training, and increasing student’s democratic consciousness as citizens.

Illustration

Workshop: The Audience

An interactive 90 minutes’ workshop for secondary school’s students deals with Havel´s well known play The Audience.

Illustration

Workshop: The Life Story of Vaclav Havel

An interactive 90 minutes’ workshop for primary school pupils (6 – 12 years) brings the ideas and work of Václav Havel on human rights and civil society to children through Havel´s book for children Pizh'duks.

Exhibitions

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

Oldřich Škácha – Occupation 1968

A collection of photographs by Oldřich Škácha from the Václav Havel Library’s collection.

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The Faces of Resistance

Pavel Hroch’s online photographic exhibition captures the stories of those who, across several decades of Czechoslovak history, stood up to evil, inhumanity, oppression and coarseness and who at certain moments displayed courage, will to freedom, love of those around them and common sense.

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Via the East to the West

In autumn 1989, Prague was flooded with citizens from the German Democratic Republic. For them, the Czechoslovak capital was to be a transfer station on the journey to freedom, to the western part of their country, whose division was symbolised by the Berlin Wall. One of the main reasons for the sudden growth in the number of refugees was the fear that the GDR would close its borders with Czechoslovakia, the only country East German citizens could enter without a visa, ahead of 40th anniversary celebrations of its foundation.

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With a Passion for Freedom

Pavel Hroch’s photographs capture the revolutionary period springing from November 1989 as well as the era of transformation, the start of the 1990s, when things happened in Czechoslovakia that had previously been impossible and unimaginable, a period of joy and carnivalesque festivity, a period of visions, hopes and a great and perhaps somewhat naïve belief in the future. Twenty-five years later, the photographs hold a mirror up to the manner in which those dreams and visions have been realised and to where we find ourselves today.

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Leaving

Story of Václav Havel’s final play and first film (1988–2011)

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August invasion of Hrádeček

A meeting of the children of dissidents and others who shared recollections of Václav Havel. The exhibition is a colourful collage of photographs, audio recordings – from talks by individual participants on the subject “My life with Václav Havel”, to a concert by Monika Načeva and Michal Pavlíček – and unique archival materials.

Depository

Za dobu svého trvání Knihovna Václava Havla připravila a uspořádala desítky výstav. Část z nich – přibližující nejen život a dílo Václava Havla, ale též nejrůznější kulturní, historické a společenské fenomény českých zemí 2. poloviny 20. století – se stala součástí jejího archivu. Nyní bychom je rádi prostřednictvím tohoto digitálního depozitáře nabídli dalším vzdělávacím a kulturním institucím (školám, knihovnám, klubům…) k bezplatnému využití.  

  • 14/08/22 – 09/12/22
  • 14/08/22 – 09/12/22
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Václav Havel: The Power of the Powerless

The exhibition is a composition by the Italian authors Ubaldo Casotto and Francesco Magni, who...

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Zpět na začátek

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.

  • 54859 records in total
  • 15315 of events in the VH's life
  • 2994 of VH's texts
  • 2117 of photos 
  • 384of videos
  • 565of audios
  • 6594of letters
  • 15087of texts about VH
  • 7752 of books
  • 33555of 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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.”  

Zpět na začátek

All about Library

The Václav Havel Library collects, researches, disseminates, promotes and advocates the spiritual, literary and political legacy of a great figure of modern Czech history - the author, playwright, thinker, human rights defender and Czechoslovak and Czech president. It also focuses on people, events and phenomena related to the legacy of Václav Havel and strives to place them in the context of the times and of the present.

From August 2014, the Václav Havel Library is located at the address Ostrovní 13, Prague 1. The building’s ground-floor spaces is dedicated to an exhibition "Václav Havel or Havel in a nutshell" and used for VHL club events – all kinds of seminars, readings, exhibitions, lectures, concerts and theatre performances. The Library’s offices, archive, constantly expanding library, and reading room are located on the first floor.

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
Zpět na začátek

Staňte se členy Klubu přátel Knihovny Václava Havla

„Domnívám se, že se nám daří naplňovat vizi Václava Havla, jenž při založení Knihovny prohlásil, že má smysl jedině jako živoucí organismus, který zaujímá své nepřehlédnutelné místo v celku veřejného a politického života. Vnímáme to jako závazek a inspiraci do budoucna. Rádi bychom využili záznamů ze stovek našich akcí ve vlastním kanálu internetové televize, rozšířili publikační program, připravili další e-learningové série, začali pořádat workshopy pro učitele… To vše si však vyžádá nemalé finanční prostředky. Proto jsme se rozhodli obrátit na naše návštěvníky a příznivce s prosbou o podporu.“ – Michael Žantovský

Pomozte nám inspirovat své okolí i Vy!
Přijdete se k nám a staňte se členem Klubu přátel Knihovny VH!

 

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Váš příspěvek nám pomůže s vývojem vzdělávacích miniserií, audivizuálních projektů, přípravou mezinárodních konferencí...

Support us

Financial donations

If you would like to support the work of the Václav Havel Library or its specific activities or projects by means of a financial donation you can do so via the VHL’s PayPal account

Or by bank transfer to:

ČSOB a. s., Na Poříčí 24, 115 20 Praha 1

  • Crown account number 7077 7077 / 0300 CZK
  • Euro account number 7755 7755 / 0300 EUR
  • Dollar account number 7747 7747 / 0300 USD

If an individual makes a donation of over CZK 1,000, or if a company makes a donation of over CZK 2,000, in one calendar year we will create for you a donation contract confirming the amount of the donation involved; the donor can use this to reduce their tax base in compliance with the law on taxation. For more information, contact us.

Donors with US citizenship can support us through the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation New York.

Donations and loans to the VHL archive

The Václav Havel Library administers an archive of written materials, documents, photographs, video recordings and other materials related to the life and work of Václav Havel. The archive is predominantly digital in form. If you or somebody close to you is the owner of original texts, photographs, speeches or other works produced by Václav Havel we would appreciate it greatly if you contacted us. We will oversee the digitalisation of these documents and place them in our digital archive. If you would like to keep possession of such documents or items, we will return them in perfect condition.  

If a copy or original is donated to the Václav Havel Library, the terms of donation and use will in all cases be agreed with the owner. The names of all donors or owners will be listed alongside the documentary materials in question.

Internships

We offer short and long-term internships at the Václav Havel Library to Czech and foreign students. Interns are particularly welcomed in the fields of library studies and archival science, arts management, journalism, Czech Studies and other areas of the humanities.

We welcome knowledge of English (German and French are also a plus), while knowledge of Czech is an advantage for foreign interns.

Internships range in duration from six weeks to one year, while it is possible to agree on individual duration depending on the requirements of schools. On completion of the internship, the participant receives a certificate with an appraisal. Internships take place on the basis of prior agreement with applicants and dates must be agreed around two months in advance. Václav Havel Library internships are unpaid and we do not cover transport or accommodation costs.

If you are interested in an internship at the Václav Havel Library, contact us at the email address:

Media and promotion cooperation with the VHL

The Václav Havel Library welcomes the mutual exchange of links and the publication of our banners and information about our events. For more information, contact us directly.

Volunteers

The Václav Havel Library welcomes volunteers who would like to assist in our work.  

Bakala PhilanthropyRockefeller Brothers FundJan BartaAsiana GroupMoneta Money BankThe Vaclav Havel Library FoundationNadace Charty 77Sekyra FoudationVŠEMRicohP3chemTechsoup ČRNewton MediaHlavní město PrahaMinisterstvo kultury ČRMinisterstvo zahraničních věcí ČRUS EmbassyStátní fond kultury