Events: December 2023 November 2023 January 2024
Cleveringa Lecture 2023
December 1, 2023, 17:00
For the third time, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Czech Republic, in collaboration with the Václav Havel Library, is hosting a gala evening under the patronage of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Daan Huisinga. The event pays tribute to human and civil rights activists Rudolf Cleveringa, a professor at Leiden University imprisoned by the Germans, and Václav Havel, who bravely opposed the falsehoods of communism. This year's Cleveringa Lecture will feature Yoeri Albrecht, Director of De Balie, a renowned debate and cultural center in Amsterdam. Albrecht, an internationally respected journalist, opinion influencer, and media consultant, will lead an engaging discussion on contemporary European issues, drawing from his extensive experience in shaping public discourse. More
Deník N: Book of the Year Poll Results 2023
December 4, 2023, 19:00
How has the Czech literary market changed? What are its strong, and weak, points? And what are its successes and failures? We will discuss the results of Deník N's Books of the Year poll with representatives of the Czech book industry.
Conference: Public Collective Citizens’ Protests, 1948–1989
December 4, 2023, 09:00
Throughout the dictatorship of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in 1948–1989, various population groups came up with diverse forms of protest through which they expressed their attitudes toward a number of negative aspects of the societal reality of the time – from the dismal social situation, to the lack of religious and civil freedoms, to political demands. The conference will focus on the particular forms of collective public protest cultivated in different professional and socio-cultural settings. It will outline their typology and explore the changing social function of protest. The individual papers will present the evolution of the strategies of those involved, for example, in demonstrations, strikes, small farmers’ revolts, religious pilgrimages or petition drives. More
Twenty-Five Look Back: A Questionnaire for Czech Folk Names
December 5, 2023, 19:00
Many of them are in fact pioneers, the founders of the genre – the first Czech (Czechoslovak) folk generation. They started performing prior to normalisation, against which they then defined themselves as one man – or woman. Their songs contributed to the change of the regime, or at least to the fact that it was possible to somehow endure it. Even today they are not living off faded glory; many continue to create and perform, and their new material is not overshadowed by their earlier hits. They still have something to say. Publicist Aleš Palán therefore asked 25 of them questions that they do not usually face, creating a kind of folk questionnaire. Musical guest Vladimír Merta; others who can make it will provide a surprise.
Debate with Respekt
December 6, 2023, 19:00
A discussion with editors from the weekly Respekt and their guests. For details and the names of guests, visit www.vaclavhavel.cz prior to the event.
Ceremonial Announcement of Essay Prize Winners
December 7, 2023, 16:00
Announcement of the results of the 16th Václav Havel Library annual Student Essay Competition, attended by students and the jury. The theme this year was: The second year in the shadow of war. How are we being affected by a war we know only from the media but are still part of? More
Speak the Truth, Live the Truth: Presentation of a Book of Interviews
December 7, 2023, 20:00
Columnist and journalist Radek Gális will present his book Pravdu říkat, pravdu žít (Speak the Truth, Live the Truth), a collection of interviews with 10 figures (Marie Akvinela Ludmila Loskotová, Juraj Jakubisko, František Janouch, Josef Mašín, Ivan Medek, Josefina Napravilová, František Peřina, Jiří Stránský, Karel Šiktanc, Tomáš Špidlík) whose lives illustrate the twists and turns of Czechoslovak 20th century history. A talk with the author, looking back at meetings with Czechoslovak dissidents and exiles, and subsequent Q&A will be helmed by Czech Radio Plus presenter Martina Mašková.
Petr Janyška: The Two Polands
December 8, 2023, 19:00
Polsko vejpůl (The Two Polands) is a book about contemporary Poland and its society and politics. It delivers the testimonies of major figures in Polish society on the situation that the country got into during the eight years of Jarosław Kaczyński’s rule, exploring the chasm it created between Poles. It paints a tangled web that the new government will need to untangle in order to bring Poland back into the European mainstream. And also the danger that, if it does not succeed, we may have a very unpleasant neighbour in a few years. Former president Lech Wałęsa, filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, politician and journalist Adam Michnik and a number of other Polish personalities from the left to conservatism share their views. The foreword was written by Petr Pithart. Political scientist Jiří Pehe and the book’s author, journalist and diplomat Petr Janyška, will debate the issues, while Ondřej Kundra from the weekly Respekt will moderate.
The Free Academy: Karol Sidon – The Torah as Teaching and Law
December 11, 2023, 19:00
This lecture will highlight some aspects of the Torah as doctrine, teaching and instruction More
The Garden Party Belongs to All!
December 14, 2023, 19:00
A programme to commemorate the anniversary of the world premiere of Václav Havel’s The Garden Party, which rocked the Czechoslovak cultural scene 60 years ago. Of a successful, courageous, funny and topical play. A play via which the Theatre of the Absurd burst into Czechoslovak theatre. More
The Sun Always Shines Above the Clouds: Presentation of Petruška Šustrová’s Memoir
December 15, 2023, 19:00
An evening at which the book of Petruška Šustrová’s memoir Nahoře nad mraky září slunce vždycky (The Sun Always Shines Above the Clouds) will be presented and launched simply has to take place at the Václav Havel Library; Petruška was a frequent guest and debater there, inseparably linked to the venue. More
The Václav Havel Library at Knihex
16/12/23 – 17/12/23 Participation on local events
The traditional Knihex book festival will take place in the almost adjacent UMPRUM building on Mikulandská St., with a Václav Havel Library stand offering books and other essentials throughout the weekend.
Václav Havel: Protest
December 18, 2023, 19:00
To sign or not to sign? A play about a tough question with an even tougher answer. A one-act play about a persistent dilemma, a fiendish question that characterises the playwright’s oeuvre. Out of uncertainty, out of a feeling of distress, out of fear of what tomorrow will bring, we lose the courage to fight for something. Staňek’s thinking aloud about whether or not to stand up for the arrested singer-songwriter and his future son-in-law is one of the greatest dialogues ever written by Václav Havel. More
Václav Havel Here and Now: Three Days with the VH Library in Tábor
18/12/23 – 20/12/23
A three-day cultural marathon reflecting the living legacy of Václav Havel – touching on his political, philosophical and above all theatrical work – organised by the Library in cooperation with Tábor’s theatre Divadlo Oskara Nedbala. More