Embassy of the Czech Republic                                                                    in Helsinki

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Václav Havel – dissident, writer, politician

(This article expired 13.06.2013.)

A seminar called “Václav Havel – dissident, writer, politician” was held in the Aleksanteri Institute in May. The Aleksanteri Institute is affiliated with the University of Helsinki and it functions as a national centre of research studying international relations particularly in Center and Eastern Europe.

In the seminar speeches were presented by the Director of Educational ProgramsJouni Järvinen, Riikka Nisonen (Faculty of Social Science of the University of Tampere), historian Heikki Larmola and Helena Lehečková (lector of Czech language in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Helsinki). Each speaker selected a topic of his/her presentation from one of the spheres which were the most characteristic for the former Czechoslovak and Czech president. The speakers clarified in their presentations the meaning of literal production of Václav Havel, his dissident activities and efforts in defending human and civil rights. Also the historical context of Charter 77 was discussed. A fairly long time was devoted also to Václav Havel´s function as the first democratic president after 1989, his significance in forming a civil society in the Czech Republic and his contribution to forming European thinking after the cold war. Each presentation was followed by lively discussion with the audience which was interested in some details from the life of Václav Havel as well as in the situation in Czechoslovakia at that time.

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