PHOTO: Ivan Binar – Revolution!  16/03/18

Reading from his new novel by Ivan Binar. Revoluce! (Revolution!) is a painfully humorous book about how a joy-filled walk in the forest can suddenly turn into an existential horror. It doesn’t take much: in the deep forest, with gentle birdsong in the background, an ordinary upstanding young man meets two single-minded police officers carrying out a task, which is creating and uncovering the enemy within…The Charter 77 signatory and author Ivan Binar was imprisoned in the 1970s for sedition that he was meant to have committed during the musical Son of the Regiment. He was a Radio Free Europe editor while in exile and became a freelance writer following his return. He is one of the few contemporary authors focused on what might be dubbed the Christian roots of our civilisation. In his view, life, no matter how hard, has meaning; revenge is not a solution and leads at best to a chain of further injustices. While in his novels Binar frequently moves between very bizarre or dreamlike milieus, the effort to get to the essence of human existence is a constant. More


PHOTO: The Ferdinand Peroutka Prize: Investigative Journalism Under Threat?  08/03/18

Andrej Babiš’s purchase of the company Mafra, the subsequent exodus of journalists to smaller, mainly print media outlets, pressure on public service media over their investigative programmes, be they Reportéry ČT or 168 hodin and the recent case of Janek Kroupa at Czech Radio – all of this has in recent times highlighted the importance of investigative journalism in contemporary Czech society. These issues were the focus of a discussion organised every year following the presentation of the Ferdinand Peroutka Prize by the Václav Havel Library and the Ferdinand Peroutka Society, which bestows the award. Confirmed speakers this year include the fresh recipient of the prize Jana Klímová, an investigative journalist with Czech Radio, and the journalists Marek Wollner and Jiří Kubík. The evening was hosted by Jan Pokorný. More


The Faces of Resistance  25/02/18

Dear Friends, On February 25, we will introduce you to a new online exhibition entitled The Faces of Resistance, prepared by The Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the photographer Pavel Hroch. The pictures tell a story of people, who for many decades stood against evil, inhumanity, oppression and babarism. These selected personalities are connected by courage, a will to live in freedom and a love of their fellow citizens. More on our website.


PHOTO: Olga Havlová’s Legacy in the Eyes of the Young Generation: Who Do Today’s 20-Year-Olds Look Up To?  22/02/18

Olga Havlová, one-time first lady of the Czech Republic, would have been 85 years old this year. While many people know her name, the majority mainly remember her as the wife of President Václav Havel. How do today’s youth view her legacy? What does Olga Havlová represent to them? Do today’s 20-year-olds have their “own” personalities they look up to? Who are their models? What do they think of non-profit organisations, volunteering and charity and how do they make that known? Do the terms that Olga Havlová and Václav Havel identified with – truth and love, compassion and humility – have the same meanings for them? And what do those who lived through the “Havel years” as adults make of the development of society and today’s youth? More


PHOTO: Pavel Tigrid: London Calling  15/02/18

Pavel Tigrid (1917–2003) returned to his past with characteristic temperance when shortly after the war he wrote the now forgotten article Volá Londýn (London Calling). In it he captured the experience of wartime London, the BBC and the Czechoslovak exile community. The text is supplemented by a hitherto unreleased Tigrid programme for the BBC’s wartime broadcasts as well as a study exploring the context of Tigrid’s wartime exile and the fates of his friends and companions. The book Volá Londýn. Ze zákulisí československého vysílání z Londýna (London Calling: Behind the Scenes of Czechoslovak Broadcasting from London) is being published on the centenary of Tigrid’s birth by the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes. More



19/03/18 17:00

Gulag and Ghetto theatres: on the edge of hell Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00

Live Theatre is cruelty and a scandal and heretic public event (A. Artaud, P. Brook, A. Badiou) and differs from dead “theatre” (agitation, ideological simulation). What does mean professional theatric events in Gulag’s Solovki prison camp and in Vorkutlag? Do they have parallels with Ghetto Theatres in Vilnius and Warsaw? More

Daniel Cohn-Bendit à Bibliothèque Vaclav HavelThe Faces of Resistance