“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will
turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
Vaclav Havel, playwright, dissident, and president, ‘soul guide to individuals
and nations’, to quote Seamus Heaney, gave hope not only to millions of
Europeans, but to people around the world. People who believe in the
primacy of the individual and the universality of human rights. Havel also
demonstrated that the power of human empathy, leading to collective
action, can save lives.
The Vaclav Havel Library, the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation, and Art for
Amnesty have joined forces to celebrate the life, work, and legacy of Vaclav
Havel, through theater, lectures, articles, films, discussions, memorials, and
other public events. We are inviting other institutions to dedicate one or
more of their programs this year to the memory of Havel.
We will also showcase the art and writings of a younger generation of artists
that has been inspired and encouraged by Havel’s ideas and life.
All events, in this the 80th anniversary of his birth, will be presented and
promoted under the umbrella ‘Havel@80’.