“Ten Years Without Václav Havel”. Prague to Commemorate Czech Republic’s First President

Ten Years Without Václav Havel

To commemorate ten years since the death of President Václav Havel, an event “10 years without V.H.” will be organized in Prague on December 18th. 

Václav Havel’s public engagement began in the 1960s. During the Prague Spring of 1968, he argued that reforming the Communist Party and its style of government was not enough. Instead of mere democratization, he wanted true democracy.

However, all such hopes were dashed by the Soviet-led invasion and subsequent occupation.

Havel became a leading figure in the Czechoslovak dissident movement. One of the co-authors of the Charter 77 declaration, around which the most influential human rights organization formed.

He was no longer spared a prison sentence – Havel was convicted in 1979 and not released from prison until 1983. He was arrested again and sentenced in 1989 but spent only a few months in prison. In that same seminal year, there would be a major change not just in his life but in Czechoslovak society.

Communism is toppled in the Velvet Revolution, and Václav Havel becomes president of a newly democratic country. He will also go down in history as the last President of Czechoslovakia and the first President of the Czech Republic.


The celebrations will take place at different locations in Prague, and will include screenings, photo exhibitions, concerts, discussions, films, processions, videos and more.

– an exhibition of known and unknown photographs, “10 years without V. H.”, will be displayed in the passage of Paláce Lucerna;

– screening of films about Václav Havel, including the award-winning “The art of dissent” will be shown in Kino Lucerna;

-a “10 years without V. H.” concert in Lucerna Music Bar, with many artists and speakers in attendance, as well as an afternoon discussion and evening concert in Rock Café;

-the video project “10 years without V.H.”, featuring colleagues and friends of Václav Havel, but also those who have never met him, but who hold the former president and his contributions in high esteem.


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