Just few days after he was elected president, Václav Havel travelled to Ostrava on 3 January 1990. The so-called “Steel Heart of the Republic” therefore became the first city (besides Prague) visited by Havel as the president. Havel’s first steps led to Jaromír Šavrda’s grave at the Ostrava-Hrabová cemetery. There he paid tribute, by taking a bow and laying flowers, to the significant Ostrava writer, journalist, dissident and his own friend who died in May 1988 shortly before the Velvet Revolution. Havel’s symbolic gesture helped to spread awareness of Jaromír Šavrda; many Ostrava citizens first heard of him thanks to Václav Havel’s visit. The iconic pictures of the event are now part of the Jaromír and Dolores Šavrda Collection in the Ostrava City Archive.
- Ostrava, Czech Republic
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Václav Havel’s correspondence is an important and valuable part of the Václav Havel Library collection as it reflects not only his thoughts and visions, but also the atmosphere of the times. The library’s collection includes digitized forms of his famous “Letters to Olga” (the original letters are stored in the Literary Archive of the Museum of Czech Literature), as well as an electronic version of Václav Havel’s correspondence with other important figures, including representatives of Czechoslovak exile before 1989. It contains correspondence with the historian Vilém Prečan, the physicist František Janouch (the original letters are stored in the František Janouch Archive) and the writer Josef Škvorecký (the letters are deposited at the Hoover Institution in Stanford, United States). Since 1989, Václav Havel’s correspondence has been published several times.
The manuscripts of Václav Havel’s plays and essays have great historical and cultural value. In addition, these texts remain relevant today, which is why his essays are still published and his plays still performed in many theatres in the Czech Republic and abroad. The Václav Havel Library collection includes a digitized version of the manuscript of Havel’s play “The Memorandum” (Vyrozumění) from June 1960 (the original manuscript is deposited in the National Archives of the Czech Republic). This black comedy based on the motif of an artificial, totalitarian language called “Ptydepe” was premiered in July 1965 at Divadlo na Zábradlí (Theatre on the Balustrade). The play was directed by Jan Grossman.
Krzysztof Skiba, ‘Komisariat naszym domem. Pomarańczowa historia’, Warsaw: Narodowe Centrum Kultury, 2015.
Tomasz Sikorski, Marcin Rutkiewicz, 'Graffiti w Polsce 1940-2010', Warsaw: carta blanca, 2011.
- Gdańsk, Poland
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The book gives voice to musicians like Robert Brylewski (bands Brygada Kryzys, Izrael, Armia), Tomasz Lipiński (Brygada Kryzys, Tilt) or Paweł „Kelner” Rozwadowski (Deuter, Izrael), but also Paweł „Konjo” Konnak from the Gdansk artistic group TotArt or the organizer of the Jarocin festival Walter Chełstowski. Jarosz also managed to reach former authorities like Jerzy Urban (press secretary of Polish government in 1981-1989) or Aleksander Kwaśniewski (back then a Minister for Youth and an editor the youth magazine Sztandar Młodych, later a president of Poland).
Ha! Art., the publishing house form Krakow, describes the project in a following way: „« Generation» (…) presents a new imaginarium of the Polish popular culture in the 1980s (…) The new pantheon clears the field of culture from the mastodons like bands Perfect, Lombard, TSA, Turbo etc. [mainstream rock groups of the 1980s.].”
In the book one can also find a timeline of the most important events of the 1980s which influenced the punk scene, as well as detailed description of photographs. Jarosz’s text is included both in Polish and English version.