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The University of Ostrava Is Planning the Celebrations of the 30th Velvet Revolution Anniversary

Ostrava lives to see a dignified commemoration of the Velvet Revolution

The University of Ostrava is preparing educational and cultural events commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution throughout the year. Thanks to the initiative of the students, the city will live to see the first dignified commemoration of this important anniversary, with a public art competition announced. There will also be a panel discussion at Masaryk Square with the witnesses of the revolution, art exhibitions and acknowledgment of important personalities of the revolution.

Most events will take place in November (the dates and events are listed below) but right now there is an art competition for a commemorative plaque initiated by students. Ostrava will receive a sacred place commemorating the fight for freedom and democracy, just like Prague has a famous commemorative plaque at Národní třída. The work of art will be placed on the corner of Českobratrská and Bráfova streets near Husův sad and it will be installed on the façade of a historical building that belongs to the University. Designs can be submitted by 12 p.m., 16th August 2019 (physically at the UO mailing office: Dvořákova 7, Mor. Ostrava).

“The Velvet Revolution was largely in the hands of students and so it is us, the students, who come with the initiative to commemorate it in Ostrava. Our goal is to set up a commemorative plaque that will be a valuable work of art and a dignified commemoration of the Velvet Revolution in Ostrava that the city lacks,” says Stanislav Ožana, a student at the University of Ostrava and the Chairman of the Student Chamber of the Ostrava University Council.

The Mayor of Ostrava, Tomáš Macura, was also troubled by the lack of physical commemoration of the revolution. “It is one of the deficiencies of the Ostrava public space that has to be remedied soon. And I am very pleased that the students took charge – I am immensely pleased that there are more and more young involved people in Ostrava that want to change things. It is an excellent foundation for further development in the right direction,” the Mayor explains.

According to the Rector of the University of Ostrava, it is also important, in addition to the symbolic commemoration, to start a discussion and to link the contemporary generation of students with those who were students in 1989. “It is necessary to critically evaluate how we have developed in the past thirty years and what we need to work on in the future, as a community, in the field of education or ecology. Therefore, we are also preparing several discussion topics that I consider to be fundamental,” Jan Lata, the Rector, stated.

For example, there will be a meeting with Josef Jařáb, a literary critic (21st November in Centrum PANT) and Jiří Černý, a journalist (23rd October in the FIDUCIA Gallery). The University of Ostrava is also participating in the preparation of a panel discussion at Masaryk Square in cooperation with the City of Ostrava within the SametOVA Project with contemporary students and witnesses whose student years were marked by the Velvet Revolution (16th November at 4 p.m.).

Another important commemoration of the 1989 events will be the Academic Day of the University of Ostrava that will take place at Gong on 12th November, starting at 1 p.m. Jan Lata, the Rector, will present medals to outstanding personalities that have been promoting a positive development of the community – Petr Pithart, a Czech author, historian and politician, and Adam Michnik, a Polish historian and journalist.

The Faculty of Fine Arts and the Faculty of Education are preparing two unique exhibitions dedicated to creative freedom and 1989. The premises of the Michal Mine National Cultural Monument will present a joint exhibition of Czech and Slovak artists related to the post-November cultural scene in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The exhibition will open on 12th November. There will also be another exhibition called the Velvet Sediments in which thirty Czech and Slovak artists will express their opinions on the individual thirty years since the Velvet Revolution through their works of art. The opening day has not yet been set but the exhibition will take place in October and November 2019.

The University of Ostrava has already started its project to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution at this year’s Meltingpot – the discussion scene of the Colours of Ostrava where the experts from the individual faculties presented themselves on the UNIVERcity Stage and assessed their fields – history, medicine or social work – within the context of freedom. The up-to-date information about the individual events will be available at the University website at www.osu.cz or at the on-line magazine at alive.osu.cz.

Updated: 14. 08. 2019

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