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Invitation: Exhibition marking Václav Havel’s 80th anniversary of birth

October 2016 marks 80th birthday anniversary of late president of the Czech Republic Václav Havel, one of the most influential political figures of the late 20th century. To celebrate this occasion, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Addis Ababa wishes to invite you to a photo exhibition entitled “Václav Havel: Politics of Conscience and Responsibility”. The event will be held in Alliance Ethio-Française in Addis Ababa from October 28 to November 16, 2016.

The exhibition was prepared in cooperation with the Václav Havel Library in Prague and consists of works collected from three Czech photographers: Alan Pajer, Oldřich Škácha, and Ondřej Němec. The photographs cover the journey of Václav Havel throughout the 20th century: From the Prague Spring in 1968 to the Velvet Revolution in 1989 and to the three presidency terms in the office of Czechoslovakia and later Czech Republic.

Among other events aimed at commemorating the 80th anniversary of the birth of Václav Havel, a public lecture by Mr. Ivan Havel, brother of the late president, will be held in the gallery of the Alliance Ethio-Française on October 27 at 10:00 am. On the same day in the evening, a feature documentary movie “Citizen Havel” will be screened at the cinema hall of the AEF at 6:00 pm under the auspices of the European Film Festival.

Václav Havel, first and foremost a playwright, poet and philosopher, started his political career as opposition leader to later become the last president of Czechoslovakia and first of the Czech Republic. Personal friend of Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, Madeleine Albright, Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi and many other world political and spiritual leaders, both in power and in opposition. Václav Havel is a laureate of about thirty state awards including Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur of France or the US Presidential Medal of Freedom. Yet, whenever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, he always refused and campaigned for other nominees. Throughout his life, Václav Havel took strong stance in defence of those marginalized, powerless and oppressed. Main principles of Havel's politics were conscience and responsibility, values so often lacking in today’s world. Many words Havel wrote during his lifetime are as teasing, intriguing and, indeed, timeless.