Politics and Conscience exhibition presents Havel as thinker

Source: Prague Daily Monitor www.praguemonitor.com /

Prague, April 20 (CTK) – The ideas and statements by Vaclav Havel (1936-2011), Czech president, dissident and playwright, are highlighted by an exhibition that opened in the Czech Centre in Prague on Wednesday to mark 80th anniversary of his birth and show the importance of his legacy as a thinker.

The travelling exhibition, titled “Politics and Conscience,” runs in Prague through May 7. Then it will be presented in other Czech regions and abroad.

“Vaclav Havel is usually referred to as a global celebrity…This exhibition, however, focuses on his ideas regarding the challenges they pose for the present time,” Jan Hron, from the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (USTR), who prepared the exhibition, told CTK.

The exhibition has been organised by the USTR together with the Czech Centres and the Vaclav Havel Library.

It offers 26 panels with Havel’s statements complemented with photographs that are related both to Havel and the present time in order to underline the continuing effect of Havel’s ideas.

Hron used Havel’s statements he found in his various texts. They are related to freedom and lack of freedom, and also include Havel’s calls concerning the path for people to follow. They mercilessly unveil the shortcomings of the present world, the authors of the exhibition said.

As a leading opposition intellectual in communist Czechoslovakia, Havel was persecuted by the regime and spent several years in jail. He described all forms of endangered freedom with an accuracy of a journalist but also with a skill of a philosopher whose ideas persist.

The presented quotations include Havel’s statement on collective hatred that rids people of loneliness and the feeling of weakness and thereby helps them face their feeling of failure and insufficient appreciation by others. The authors complemented the quotation with a photo from an anti-migrant and anti-Islam demonstration that was held in Prague earlier this year.

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The Vaclav Havel Center