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Evenings with Polish Reporters: The Caucasus, Distant or Near?

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 26, 2017, 19:00 – 21:00

Wojciech Górecki has got to know three post-Soviet republics, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, at close quarters, as a journalist, foreign mission participant and diplomat. He is able to speak in an absorbing and erudite manner about their long and rich histories, traditions, cultures and contemporary problems, which frequently have their roots in history and lead to armed conflict today. As a reporter he has also spoken with many people, from politicians to people in the streets. His book Toast za przodków (A Toast to the Ancestors) is now coming out in Czech.

Górecki will also discuss with political scientist Ondřej Ditrych the reasons that Central Europe ought to try to understand the Caucasus and how Czech and Polish relations differ in the post-Soviet space.

Wojciech Górecki is a journalist, historian and analyst. He has worked at the Polish Embassy in Baku, was a member of an EU expert team investigating the circumstances of the war in Georgia and works at the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW). He has published several books of journalism centred on the Caucasus. A Toast to the Ancestors has come out in Czech on the Dokořán a Jaroslava Jiskrová — Máj imprint in a translation by Michala Benešová and Barbora Gregorová.

The publication of the book received support within the Czech-Polish Forum project, financed by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In cooperation with the magazine Demokratický střed.

Another in 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

„If I consider the problem as that which the world is turning me into – that is, as a tiny screw in a giant machine, deprived of human identity – then there is really nothing I can do. Obviously I cannot put a stop to the destruction of the globe, the growing stupidity of nations and the repoduction of thousands of new thermonuclear bombs. If, however, I consider it as that which each of us originally is, or rahter what each of us – irrespective of the state of the world – has the basic potential to become, which is to say an autonomous human being, capable of acting responsibly to and for the world, then of course there is a great deal I can do.“

Václav Havel:
Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter, March 6, 1982