Memories sought to give personal perspective on Czech history

National Chronicle exhibition in České Budějovice, photo: Andrea Zahradníková

A travelling exhibition called the National Chronicle is now on display at the Václav Havel Square besides Prague’s National Theatre. It presents the outcomes of a project carried out by the Charter 77 Foundation along with the National Museum in which seniors share their memories of the past in order to document and preserve the memory of the nation.

National Chronicle exhibition in České Budějovice,  photo: Andrea Zahradníková
A child’s birth, a university graduation or family holidays – such events may seem insignificant in the context of the larger historical timeline. Nevertheless, they say a lot about their time and fill out the overall historical picture. The National Chronicle project encourages seniors to share these personal memories and preserve them for future generations. Its aim is to become the largest archive of its kind of both smaller and larger personal events.

Kateřina Sodomková is in charge of the project:

“The project originated five years ago, in 2012, within the initiative Sensational Seniors, which was created to inspire seniors all around the Czech Republic. To this day, more than one hundred senior clubs have joined the initiative and the National Chronicle is one of the most popular projects.

“Our aim is to create an archive of personal memories which happened to be the backdrop of larger historical events. Anyone can share their memories and stories, which may have just a personal significance. Nevertheless they are important within the context of our country’s history.”

The National Chronicle project aims to be as user-friendly as possible. All you need to do is go to its website, fill in a form and upload your memories, in text, video or audio format. You can also upload a picture with a short comment.

Kateřina Sodomková,  photo: archive of Kateřina Sodomková
The memories are then published on the project’s website but they are also stored in the archive of the National Museum, where they can be used by historians in the future. Some of the hundreds of memories that have been collected in the National Chronicle to this day can be currently seen at the Václav Havel Square outside the National Theatre in Prague. Kateřina Sodomková again:

“We wanted the public to see the outcomes of our initiative. What you can see are large-format pictures by various photographers, such as Bohdan Holomíček. Apart from famous figures, such as director and actor Jiří Kačer, who supports our project, there are also our regular contributors.”

The exhibition National Chronicle will be on display in Prague until the end of August before moving on to Teplice, Prachatice and Brno.

For more information, you can also visit the project’s website, that is