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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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Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington

„We are still a long way from that „family of man;“ in fact, we seem to be receding from the ideal rather than drawing closer to it. Interests of all kinds: personal, selfish, state, national, group and, if you like, company interests still considerably outweigh genuinely common and global interests. We are still under the sway of the destructive and thoroughly vain belief that man is the pinnacle of creation, and not just a part of it, and that therefore everything is permitted. There are still many who say they are concerdend not for themselves but for the cause, while they are demonstrably out for themselves and not for the cause at all. We are still destroying the planet that was entrusted to us, and its environment. We still close our eyes to the growing social, ethnic and cultural conflicts in the world. From time to time we say that the anonymous megamachinery we have created for ourselves no longer serves us but rather has enslaved us, yet we still fail to do anything about it.“

Václav Havel:
Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington, February 21, 1990

The unbearable lightness of evilVáclav Havel’s Prague