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Aniversary program

One hundred years of Czech and Slovak statehood: Cultural program in 2018

In 1918, a dynamic, prosperous, democratic state, Czechoslovakia, was founded by a great personality of European politics, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, a modern statesman even by today’s measures. 50 years later, the invasion of the Soviet-led army rather sadly marked the half-century of statehood. The country remained occupied until the end of the communist era, the establishment of the democratic regime, and the naming of Václav Havel the first President of liberated Czechoslovakia. In the 75th year of the country’s existence, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic parted ways peacefully and now live in a very close relationship side by side, both as proud members of the European Union. 

The year 2018 is the 100th year of Czech and Slovak statehood. This year, especially, we celebrate, remember, commemorate, reflect on, and discuss these major events, and the way they form our present and future. The Czech cultural program in Brussels approaches the anniversary/anniversaries from various angles and through various forms: discussions, film screenings, dance, exhibitions, music. And first and foremost, through encounters among Czech, Belgian and European artists, intellectuals, and audiences. We will be delighted if you join us!

Cultural program*

24. 1. From Schubert to Srnka: Quatuor Diotima

The prestigious Brussels cultural centre BOZAR introduced one of the world’s most in-demand ensemble Quatuor Diotima, performing a mostly Czech repertory, spanning from the 19th to the 21stcentury, including a composition by Miroslav Srnka who personally introduced his piece written specially for BOZAR.


4. 2. Daydreaming Nations

11 pairs of artists and intellectuals from 11 East Central European countries will take part in a discussion in BOZAR. Presenting their vision of the post 1918 period in national and European history, they will be discussing with the audience in the milieu of a café, evoking the typical venue of the interwar intellectual ferment, set up especially for this occasion.

10. 2. Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk

A Saturday evening in BOZAR brings forward the legacy of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk through very contemporary lenses. The personality of this statesman, scholar, feminist, and the first Czechoslovak president will be elaborated on by Professor Alain Soubigou of Sorbonne University, and impersonated by young Czech actors interpreting the famous interviews of the writer Karel Čapek with Masaryk.  You will be taken aback how up-to-date the dialogue sounds.


27. 2. Červená - documentary by Olga Sommerová in BOZAR

Sommerová and Červená met during the filming of the TV series Thirteenth Chamber of Soňa Červená in 2011, and last year, they continued to cooperate with feature film, which we will bringing to Brussels to the beautiful areas of BOZAR. After the screening, there will be a debate with the author Olga Sommerová. Screening will be in Czech language with English subtitles.

11. 4. REMEMBERING 1918: Turning point for Europe / conference in Prague

Historians, journalists, teachers and other speakers from 7 European countries will compare their perspectives and discuss the contemporary relevance of 1918, especially with regard to the interpretations ascribed to 1918 throughout the 20th century. In Václav Havel Library, Prague.

20. - 22. 4. Jungle Festival: Czech Image 

The biannual festival of illustration, Jungle, focuses on Czechia this year. Besides  an exhibition of the best Czech art of this genre, local art students will participate in a contest dealing with the topic of the image of the Czech Republic in the 100th year of its existence. Curious about the outcome? We certainly are!


4-5/ 2018 Czechoslovak New Wave

The Czechoslovak New Wave was a brief but immensely exciting period of time that revolutionized Czech cinema during the Prague Spring in the 1960s, deliberately following on the interwar artistic movements. Most of the films were screened only few times before being banned by the communist regime for decades. A unique opportunity to see the best of them during several spring weeks in the Cinematek.


25. - 27. 5. Too Soon Too Late

100 years after the revolutionary year 1918, top dancers and artists from 8 European countries will meet in BOZAR to explore the role of historical memory in contemporary art. The unique performative exhibition "Too Soon Too Late" was created specifically for the iconic interwar building - BOZAR in Brussels. Directed by the experienced Tomáš Procházka from the Prague creative group Handa Gote, the in situ performance takes place on May 26 and 27. 


14. 6. - 5. 8. Josef Koudelka: Invasion 68

The fiftieth anniversary of Czechoslovak statehood was the year of the invasion and subsequent occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet-led armies. Documented by the then theatre photographer – today a living legend of documentary photography – Josef Koudelka, the famous Invasion 68 series became a dramatic international symbol, and a reason for the 20-year-long political asylum of its author. Exhibited for the first time in Belgium, with the presence of the artist.


15. 6. Czech Street Party 

The popular open-air festival of Czech music, this year featuring the famous folk-inspired yet very up-to-date band Čechomor, the popular singer Lenka Dusilová, and the party animals Poletíme?. And not only that – the centennial of Czech statehood will also be celebrated there in many ways. We promise you will have a good time!

20. 6. Deus Ex Machina: Prague Spring

The Flemish literary magazine Deus Ex Machina with Czech Centre Brussels have put together a special issue focused on Prague Spring! Poems by Václav Hrabě, photos by Pavel Baňka and a whole range of content related to this exciting period of Czech history with a dramatic end. The event will include poetry reading, presentations on the less known moments of Prague Spring such as an encounter between Milan Kundera and Gabriel García Márquez, and much more.

27. 8. - 7. 9. Exhibition on Prague Spring and the 68 Invasion

Czechoslovakia of the second half of 1960s nurtured a hope for “Socialism with a human face”. The era of innovative artistic creations and vivid discussions about political perspectives was brutally ended by the August invasion. What exactly triggered it? And what followed? These questions will be addressed by the exhibition dealing with the context of 1968, and during a debate of Czech and Slovak historians.


21. 9. - 4. 10. 100Czech: Story of Czech Design

Design as the embodiment of trends of thelast 100 years in Czech society. The items willbe scattered around Brussels neighbourhood of Ixelles that is also home to the Czech Centre, so you canencounter history in one of its most attractiveforms.

3. - 5. 10. Joint Tour of the Prague Philharmonic Choir and the Flanders Symphony Orchestra

The two outstanding ensembles touring Belgium together. A feast for every music lover’s ear.

18. 10. - 9. 11. Multimedia Exhibition: A Centennial of Czech Statehood

1918… So, what exactly happened, and why? The broader societal and political context of the far-reaching changes that 1918 brought, made accessible in a multimedia form with photographic, audio, and video materials.

7. 11. Pavel Haas Quartet

Pavel Haas was the most talented pupil of the revolutionary modernist composer Leoš Janáček. Like many others, he perished in a concentration camp during the Second World War. With his generation, the hopes of the interwar era lived and died. His name was taken by the Pavel Haas Quartet, one of the fines examples of the famous tradition of Czech string quartets. Within their repertory, Leoš Janáček plays a prominent role.


9. - 11. 11 Czech & Slovak Fashion Festival 

Fresh ideas, superb craftsmanship and ethical manufacturing are common traits of the work of contemporary young Czech and Slovak fashion designers. Fashion design from experimental to minimalist, for women and men, statement accessories, design toys, outstanding jewelry… 18 Czech and Slovak shooting stars at a designers market in Halles St. Géry, all of them personally present.

11/ 2018 Václav Havel European Dialogues

The traditional event brings together Czech and international intellectuals and politicians to reflect upon the legacy of Václav Havel in today’s European politics.

16. - 18. 11. Building New States and Cities 

The Czech cities of Brno and Zlín are among the places where urbanism and architecture vigorously embraced the visions and ideas of 1918. A weekend in BOZAR deconstructing these and other towns as the standing (and sometimes also failing?) monuments of the interwar era.


3. 12. 2018 Debate: Myths and Demons

Wrapping up a year of multifarious encounters with the topic of 1918, Czech historians and journalists will participate in a major Brussels debate asking the big question: we now know what the ideals of 1918 were. What are the ones of today?

*More informaiton on evenets by clicking on the title or the image. 

More info on Czech and Slovak century: https://czechandslovakcentury.com/en 

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