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Zdeněk Velíšek: Them Up Close, Us Under the Microscope

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 24, 2017, 19:00 – 21:00

The phenomenon of migration has accompanied the history of mankind through the ages. And intensively and in a helter-skelter manner here in Europe right now.

Zdeněk Velíšek’s book Oni zblízka, my pod drobnohledem (Them Up Close, Us Under the Microscope) was mostly written in 2016, when the flood of refugees entering Europe reached a climax and, simultaneously, the responses of European nations and governments to the unexpected situation began to differ. Here in the Czech Republic all we perceived was a crowd, rarely faces. In particular when fences were erected between “us” and “them”. We were unable to respond to the sense of threat either by highlighting the experience of migrants on our territory or with information regarding their nascent integration in neighbouring states. Next to nothing was written about that, prompting the author to set off for nearby countries to gather knowledge at first hand and then pen a testimony about immigration and integration that might not be definitive but would be objective. Aspects of the book serve as a warning. Others show that migrants are not changing the identity of Europe and are not visibly striving to Islamisize it.

On the occasion of the publication of the book, which is subtitled A testimony about migration and integration, Zdeněk Velíšek and his guests will share their experiences and views.


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Diary entry for 10 July 2005, To the Castle and Back

„I’ve run away. I’ve run away to Hrádeček. I’m here alone and I feel uneasy. Everything reminds me of the decades I’ve been through in this place. I like it here. It’s my refuge, my existential home, but again and again I realize there’s no going back, and that by now I’m not the same person I was when I wrote my plays, prepared my experimental meals, threw light-hearted parties, and organised secret dissident meetings. I’m older, sicker, wearier.“

Václav Havel:
Diary entry for 10 July 2005, To the Castle and Back, 2006

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