The objective of the exhibition is not documenting historical events. “We see it as homage to Václav Havel, president and person, whose life and work during the times of freedom were documented by Czech News Agency photo reporters almost every day,” said Jiří Majstr, ČTK’s managing director. In its archives, the agency has some 12 000 photos of Václav Havel. “We tried to chose mostly interesting moments, we did not take much account of historical milestones,” added Majstr.
Artist, dissenter, president, citizen
The pictures at the exhibition date from the times between the year 1988 and 2011, i.e. from Havel‘s first political appearance in public to his transformation from a dissenter to president and to his end of political career and comeback to artistic production. The exhibition is conceived as a memory of the former president. The authors claim that they do not want to be sentimental, this is why they show photos of Havel as a lively, cheerful and often even sprightly man.
Havel, as we don’t know him
The first picture of the exhibition is the famous photograph from Škroupovo Square, Prague, where in 1988 dissenter Havel spoke at the first demonstration authorised by the Czechoslovak regime of that time. The following photos are from the revolution era at the end of 1989, photographs documenting Havel’s journey to the Castle and his first steps in the role of president, his meetings with world politicians, artists and intellectuals, as well as moments of contemplation and rest. In a similar way the authors caught the times after Havel’s presidential era ended, when he got back to his writing plays but he still held an important place in the society and politics, not only in the Czech Republic.
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