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VIDEO: Václav Havel: From Playwright and Dissident to President – a Slovenian View (14. 6. 2016)  08/07/16

Prof. Denis Poniž, a Slovenian literary historian and playwright, and Prof. Katja Mihurko Poniž, a literary historian, will trace Slovenian audiences’ encounters with Havel from the first performance of The Memorandum in 1969, when the “normalisation” period had already begun. The performance and interpretation of his plays in Communist-era Slovenia was linked to Slovenia’s (and Yugoslavia’s) own political perturbations, thus creating parallels as well as differences. What does Havel as a playwright have to say to the societies of Central Europe today, in an artistic as well as in a wider political sense? Alongside his dramatic works, the discussion will focus on the reception of his essays, documents linked to his time as a dissident and all other materials touching on his connections with Slovene culture. The lecture (in English), will be accompanied by readings (in Slovenian) of passages from Slovenian translations of Havel’s works, read by Nataša Burger, and video clips from productions of Havel’s work at Slovenian theatres. A summary in Czech will be available, courtesy of the Slovenian Lectureship at Charles University. The evening will be introduced by Jáchym Topol. The event is supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Prague in homage to the 80th anniversary of the birth of Václav Havel. More

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VIDEO: Grzegorz Ekiert: 25 Years of Post-Communist Transformations in East Central Europe (17. 6. 2016)  08/07/16

In his presentation Professor Ekiert will analyze the uneven path of political and economic transformations across countries of the former Soviet bloc during the past 25 years. He will offer some potential explanations for various fates these countries have experienced, emphasizing the role of historical legacies in shaping the outcomes of economic, social and political reforms. He will also discuss the EU crisis, unraveling of the pro-European consensus in Visegrad countries and challenges facing the region today. Grzegorz Ekiert is professor of government, Director of CES, and Senior Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. His teaching and research interests focus on comparative politics, regime change and democratization, civil society and social movements, and East European politics and societies. He is the author of The State Against Society: Political Crises and Their Aftermath in East Central Europe (1996); Rebellious Civil Society: Popular Protest and Democratic Consolidation in Poland (with J. Kubik, 1999); Capitalism and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe: Assessing the Legacy of Communist Rule (co-edited with S. Hanson, 2003); editor of special issues of East European Politics and Societies on the “EU Eastward Enlargement” (with J. Zielonka, 2003) and of “Democracy in the Postcommunist World” (2007) and Taiwan Journal of Democracy on “A Liberal Challenge? Civil Society and Grass-root Politics in New Democracies” (with S. Kim, 2013). He is also co-editor of Open Forum—the interactive CES working papers series. His current projects explore civil society development in new democracies in Central Europe and East Asia and patterns of transformations in post-communist world. More

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Zdeněk Neubauer has died (1942—2016)  05/07/16

During the night the philosopher, biologist and Tom Stoppard prize winner, Zdeněk Neubauer, has passed away. An author of essay anthologies who was asked by Vaclav Havel to write a discourse to his Letters to Olga.

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VIDEO: Greil Marcus: Lipstick Traces (28. 6. 2016)  04/07/16

With classic rock critic Greil Marcus on rebellion in music from the 1960s to the present. Moderated discussion with music journalist Pavel Klusák. A unique opportunity to meet a genuine legend of rock and music journalism. One of the most important figures in his field, Greil Marcus was the first reviews editor at Rolling Stone and has written a host of books on the likes of Bob Dylan, The Doors and Van Morrison. We will devote particular attention to Marcus’s Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century (1989), which explores sedition in the (sub)cultures of the 20th century. More

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PHOTO: Pavel Havel: Rr  04/07/16

At the close of this season at the Václav Havel Library we presented, following a successful premiere in May, a reprise of the trrragicomedy on the desirrre of Rrrobert Chrrroust, who strrruggled to prrronounce his r’s, to become an actorrr. Authorrrs Pavel Kohout and Václav Havel completed the play in 1973. It was firrrst perrrformed at a meeting of the banned wrrriterrrs at Hrrrádeček in 1974. More

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