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PHOTO: The Fall into Europe – An Evening Marking the 80th Anniversary of Jiří Dienstbier’s Birth  24/04/17

A discussion focused on how the one-time journalist, stoker, Charter 77 signatory and political prisoner set about realising his dream of Europe as democratic Czechoslovakia’s first minister of foreign affairs. On what would have been Jiří Dienstbier’s 80th birthday we have invited Luboš Dobrovský and Alexandr Vondra to the debating table. Chaired by Michael Žantovský. More

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PHOTO: An evening with photographer Gabina Fárová  20/04/17

Even during her career as a photo (Saudek, Stano) and catwalk model, Gabina took photos of urban carousing and her companions from the rather juvenile, Bohemian circle surrounding the underground magazines Violit and Revolver, many of whom became established artists (Kremlička, Socha, Karlík, Landovská…). In the 1990s Gabina focused at the Radost photographic agency, which she cofounded, on the underside of that heady period, for instance in her pictures of Valdice prisoners. Her current portrait photographs and nudes, drawing on the beauty of the feminine form, are gems of classic black and white photography. During a projection of both new and now virtually historic pictures, Gabina discussed her life and work with Jáchym Topol.  More

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PHOTO: On the Roots of the Questioning of Liberal Democracy  05/04/17

Criticism of human rights – the genealogy of democratic scepticism. Human rights, the cornerstone of modern liberal democracy, are increasingly subject to open criticism and questioning. In this discussion the Belgian political scientist Justine Lacroix and the philosopher Jean-Yves Pranchère from Luxembourg explored the roots of contemporary criticism of human rights. More

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PHOTO: Letters from the Grey Zone  22/03/17

The book Ale snad i pro toto jsme žili, ne? (But that’s surely also what we lived for, is it not?) features the personal correspondence of well-known sociologists Miloslav Petrusek (1936–2012) and Martin Bútora in the period when they were in academic exile. It is enhanced by the letters of their wives, the sociologists Alena Miltová and Zora Bútorová. In this intimate record of one corner of the Czechoslovak intellectual milieu, specifically the sociological one, two languages and four narrators alternate, while it also includes substantial essays, travel sketches and mini-reviews, as well as excerpts from the period press and photographs. More

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PHOTO: Jan Patočka: Philosophy and Action  20/03/17

Jan Patočka began working on his private seminar “Plato and Europe” in autumn 1973. He characterised philosophy as internal conduct. “The situation of man,” he told his students at a Prague apartment against a backdrop of culminating normalisation, “changes once we become aware of it. The situation is utterly different, depending on whether people who are in distress surrender or don’t surrender.” Speaking at this seminar marking the 40th anniversary of the death and the 110th anniversary of the birthday Jan Patočka, one of the first spokespeople of Charter 77, were people who were present at that time: Ivan Chvatík, head of the Jan Patočka Archive; Charles University philosophy professor Miroslav Petříček; Jaromír Kučera, philosophy teacher at the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague; and Jiří Michálek, who teaches philosophy at Charles University’s Faculty of Science, Markéta Bendová, a postgraduate student at Charles University’s Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. More

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27/04/17 19:00

Milena Jesenská: Crossroads Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00

This extensive anthology of Milena Jesenská’s journalism from the period 1919–1939 entitled Křižovatky (Crossroads) will be introduced by Petr Pithart. Literary historian Marie Jirásková will discuss her editorial work on the publication, which took over four years, while family recollections will be shared by Prof. Anna Housková, granddaughter of Milena’s lifelong close friend Staša Jílovská. More

4th Annual Conference, The Vaclav Havel European Dialogue, Prague, May 15, 2017Havel—Prigov and czech experimental poetry