Series of events to commemorate tenth anniversary of Václav Havel’s death

This Saturday marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Václav Havel, the dissident playwright and first president of post-Communist Czechoslovakia. In honour of his memory, a series of events will take place in cities and towns around the country, but the late Czech president will also be remembered abroad.

The main event commemorating the tenth anniversary of the death of the late Czech president is scheduled to take place at several venues in Prague on Saturday. Called ‘Ten Years without Václav Havel’, the event will start with a traditional parade called Heart to the Castle, says one of the organizers, Robin Suchánek:

“People will take turns in carrying a large illuminated heart at the head of the procession. Traditionally, it leads from the Václav Havel Plaza in the direction of Hradčanské náměstí. This year, however, people will gather at the square and from there they will head towards Lucerna Palace, bringing the heart to the stage.”

One of the stops of the parade will be the Rock Café on Národní Street, which will host a discussion on Saturday afternoon and concerts in the evening.

An exhibition entitled ‘Ten Years without Václav Havel’ will be on display in the hall of Lucerna Palace, while Lucerna Cinema will screen films focusing on the late Czech president.

The organizers have also prepared a special video project, featuring well-known Czech and foreign personalities remembering Václav Havel, says Mr. Suchánek.

Robin Suchánek | Photo: Czech Television

“We reached out to friends and colleagues of Václav Havel, asking them to record their answers to three questions: What comes to your mind when you hear the name Václav Havel? What is your memory of him? And what would you tell him if you could speak to him?

“The video-project involves, among others, former Austrian President Heinz Fischer, the most famous living British playwright and Oscar-winning screenwriter Tom Stoppard, American singer Suzanne Vega, writer and wife of Miloš Forman Martina Formanová, and the Apostolic Nuncio Charles Daniel Balvo.”

The videos will be released on Saturday on Facebook and YouTube and they will also be broadcast on Czech Television. The ‘Ten Years Without Václav Havel’ event will culminate in the evening with a concert in Prague’s Lucerna Music Bar.

The Václav Havel Library is also planning a special programme in honour of the late Czech president, presenting a special interview with the Dalai Lama, a close friend of Václav Havel, on the eve of the anniversary.

A series of events are scheduled to take place in Brno, under the banner Havel Lives! Prepared by the Centre for Experimental Theatre in cooperation with the Memory of the Nation, it will include a debate, an outdoor photography exhibition and a concert.

The late Czech president and dissident playwright will also be remembered by the network of Czech Centres abroad. The Czech House Jerusalem has already launched an exhibition 'Václav Havel through the lens of Karel Cudlín'.