The autumn and winter of 1989 brought a huge change to the citizens of Czechoslovakia. The communist government fell after 41 years and Czechoslovakia headed forward towards democratic changes. This year, it will be 30 years since freedom and democratic principles returned to the Czech Republic. The significant anniversary will be commemorated by various exhibitions all around the country. We would like to invite you to some of them!
1989: The Fall of the Iron Curtain30/5/2019 – 30/11/2019, Queen Anne’s Summer Palace, Prague
The exhibition shows the events of 1989 through the lenses of 70 Czech and Slovak photographers together with 25 foreign ones. The photographs in the Summer Palace and the adjacent garden at Prague Castle chronologically tell the story of the end of communism in the socialist block.
Josef Chuchma: Segments (of Normalization)13/9/2019 – 3/11/2019, Leica Gallery, Prague
Josef Chuchma, a publicist, reviewer and photographer, selected photos from his archive, taken in the 1970s and 1980s in the streets, at concerts, religious festivals or at oaths of allegiance. While doing that, he captured the aesthetic and social atmosphere of the society at that time, when people lived slowly and in an organized way, in anxiety, with small delights. Leica Gallery is located in the centre of Prague near St. Wenceslas Square.
November 1989 in Prague Streets25/9/2019 – 26/4/2020, Museum of the Capital City of Prague
The exhibition in the Museum of the Capital City of Prague shows the atmosphere of the Velvet Revolution through photographs, films, posters, leaflets and other material artefacts. Until the end of 2019, it will be accompanied by an outdoor panel exhibition called Prague 1989 – The Journey to Freedom. It maps the fateful moments of the modern history that took place in Prague in the 80s and that marked the impending end of the communist regime.
Jiří Sozanský: Amnesia5/10/2019 – 15/1/2020, Municipal House, Prague
The project commemorates important personalities of the cultural life in an artistic form who were not only talented, but also courageous. It introduces the artists who were able to face both Nazism and communism during the 20th century. The project will present, for example, Emil Filla, Milada Horáková, Jan Palach and Václav Havel. You can see the exhibition in the Prague Municipal House.
Dictatorship in Technology and Technology in the Services of (the Lack of) Freedom9/10/2019 – 23/3/2020, National Technical Museum, Prague
The National Technical Museum in Prague is also putting on a special exhibition. From October, the exhibition on Dictatorship in Technology will show you what technical resources the totalitarian power used in former Czechoslovakia to supress freedom and human rights.
November 1989 in Plzeň or Leaves and Communists Fall in Autumn18/10/2019 – 12/1/2020, Museum of West Bohemia in Plzeň
The Plzeň exhibition will take you to the last stage of communist Czechoslovakia that culminated with the fall of the regime and it focuses on the events in the context of West Bohemia where Plzeň is. Thanks to the period artefacts, documents, posters and photographs, the exhibition not only shows what life was like under the communist regime, but also its revolutionary conclusion. The exhibition is designed with the help of the participants of the November revolution in Plzeň.
Communication 89 or Coup D’état without the Internet11/10/2019 – 30/11/2019, Letenská pláň, Prague
The exhibition project called Communication 89 will take place at Letenská pláň in Prague, the main stage of the mass demonstrations in November 1989. It is surprising how fast we got used to all the technical conveniences and instant communication in the past ten years. The exhibition will show especially to the younger generations how information was spread at the time when there was no internet, social networks or mobile signal.
Iron Curtain 1948–198912/11/2019 – 3/5/2020, Technical Museum in Brno
The exhibition of the Brno Technical Museum focuses on the history of the national border surveillance from 1945 to 1989. The borders were strictly guarded and any illegal crossings, escapes to freedom, were punished severely. The exhibition opens on 12 November and it will be open until May 2020. The exhibition will show the methods of crossing the state border and resources that people used and it will also present the issue of travelling from Czechoslovakia during the dictatorship. On the opening day, 11 November, visitors can enjoy a theme afternoon, starting at 3 p.m., ending with an evening video mapping of the fall of the Iron Curtain.
198914/11/2019 – 16/2/2020, Museum of Modern Art in Olomouc
The exhibition on the Velvet Revolution will be held by the Museum of Modern Art in Olomouc in central Moravia. There you can see period photographs and documents loaned by various institutions and private authors’ collections. You will be able to “taste” the atmosphere of the breaking points of 1989, especially in Olomouc and its surroundings.
From Hrádeček to the Castle / Bring Flowers / 20 Years in NATO14 to 24/11/2019, Prague Crossroads, Prague
The multipurpose space of the Prague Crossroads can be found in the former Church of St. Anne in the centre of Prague. This autumn, the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation, VIZE 97, prepared a unique exhibition of photos of President Václav Havel in cooperation with Alan Pajer, the President’s court photographer. You will see photos through which you can see the backstage of the former presidential office.
198915/11/2019 – 16/2/2020, Trade Fair Palace, Prague
The exhibition at the National Gallery in Prague commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution within the Havel to the Castle project. At the same time, the aim of the exhibition is to assess the photographs taken during 1989, with the benefit of hindsight, and to find the best snapshots that commemorate the events of that time. Emphasis is put on the most important photographers at that time, such as Lubomír Kotek, Tomki Němec, Radovan Boček, Karel Cudlín, Jan Jindra, Jaroslav Kučera, Pavel Štecha and many more. The photographs from anti-regime demonstrations will be accompanied with photographs that were also taken during 1989 but captured everyday life or reflected social problems and political changes. They illustrate the atmosphere of those times even for those who were born somewhere else or at another time.