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New Year’s greetings 2015, or the VHL in a few paragraphs

December 25, 2014


A week ago, on Thursday 18 December, we marked the third anniversary of the death of Václav Havel with his one-act play Protest as performed by the Divadlo na tahu theatre, an event that also represented the end of “our” 2014. Though it may seem rather soon to be making an evaluation, it was an extraordinarily varied and successful year:

We organised more than 150 events, from intimate lectures, gatherings, readings and discussions on topical social issues to colloquia, round tables and international conferences.

In cooperation with the Council of Europe and the Charter 77 Foundation we presented the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize for the second time. This year’s laureate was Anar Mammadli, an Azerbaijani human rights defender. Last year’s recipient, Ales Bialiatski, was released from prison and attended a conference in Prague in Mammadli’s honour.

We became one of the first institutions in the world to sign up to Google Art Project, within which we began running virtual photography exhibitions.

After over five years we brought our offices and club space under one roof; since August 1, they have shared a wonderful address at Ostrovní 13.

We received a donation of the estate of one of the key figures of Czechoslovak cinema’s New Wave, Pavel Juráček, and, under the title By Means of a Cat, published the first collection of his literary works. We also became the administrators of the library of the Czech philosopher Ladislav Hejdánek.

We released our first vinyl LP: a recording of a 2007 performance of his Fantasia in G minor by Filip Topol at the Dietrichstein Tomb in Mikulov.

We co-produced two documentary films: Olga, by the makers of Citizen Havel; and Life According to Václav Havel, by Andrea Sedláčková, which was broadcast by television stations in France, Germany and Belgium.

We launched Revolution Through the Eyes of Vladimír Hanzel, a unique diary of the turning points of the Velvet Revolution created by Václav Havel’s one-time secretary.

In a single week we sold the entire initial print run of  Suspicious to Myself, a collection of personally-toned essays written by Václav Havel between 1990 and 1995.

We surpassed the 10,000 friend mark on Facebook and over 1,000,000 minutes of videos were watched on our YouTube channel…

And all of this has been thanks to you!

Have a wonderful holiday season. We are looking forward to seeing you in the New Year - and open again on 5 January 2015!

Marta Smolíková


and the Václav Havel Library Team


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