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Evenings with Polish Reporters: Memory of the Borderlands

Illustration
  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 2, 2017, 19:00 – 21:00

Why did a small town near the Czech-Polish border disappear? The Polish reporter Filip Springer spent two years searching for an answer to the question of why Miedzianka/Kupferberg no longer exists. The once thriving mining town suffered ill fortune several times in history. However, its fate was sealed definitively by the post-war expulsion of the original German inhabitants and the Soviet plundering of uranium deposits between 1948 and 1952; Polish returnees who came back in search of their homes ended up in apartment complexes in Jelenia Góra…

We are familiar with similar stories from Czech history. Filip Springer will discuss them with Petr Mikšíček, a Czech documentarian, journalist and (co)author of several books about the Czech borderlands.

Filip Springer is a reporter and photo reporter whose books and articles focus in particular on contemporary Polish public space and architecture. In Prague he will present his acclaimed debut Miedzianka (2011), issued in Czech by the Absynt publishing house in a translation by Martin Veselka.

The debate is part of a series of discussions presenting contemporary Polish reporters organised by the Polish Institute in Prague and the Václav Havel Library.

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Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter

„Once you’re here, however, whether you want to or not, you have to ask the question: does all of this have a meaning, and if so, what?… Ultimately, I can only find an answer – a positive answer – within myself, in my general faith in the meaning of things, in my hope. What, in fact, is man responsible to? What does he relate to? What is the final horizon of his actions, the absolute vanishing point of everything he does, the undeceivable “memory of Being”, the conscience of the world and the final “court of appeal”? What is the decisive standard of measurement, the background or the field of each of his existential experiences? And likewise, what is the most important witness or the secret sharer in his daily conversations with himself, the thing that – regardless of what situation he has been thrown into – he incessantly inquires after, depends upon, and toward which his actions are directed, the thing that, in its omniscience and incorruptibility, both haunts and saves him, the only thing he can trust in and strive for? “

Václav Havel:
Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter, August 7, 1980

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