Prague, Oct 31 (CTK) – The photographic exhibition Moments of the Velvet Revolution prepared by the Czech News Agency (CTK) to mark the 30th anniversary of the November 1989 events that toppled the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, was opened in the centre of Prague today.
A total of 157 photographs not only from the CTK archives, but also from museums and private collections are displayed on 30 panels on the pedestrian zone in Na příkopě street until the end of November.
The photos from Slovakia have been loaned by the Slovak News Agency (TASR).
CTK editor-in-chief Radka Matesova Markova officially opened the exhibition this afternoon. She said this was the main event CTK had prepared on the occasion of the Velvet Revolution’s 30th anniversary.
CTK General Director Jiri Majstr said CTK seeks ways and projects to present its operation as a press agency and show the sources it has at its disposal to a broad public.
“One of such projects is this exhibition, into which we integrated many sources to present a richly illustrated diary of the Velvet Revolution,” Majstr said.
The photographs on display depict the events at the end of 1989 in various parts of then Czechoslovakia.
The public, too, participated in the display preparation. From April to September, CTK was collecting photos from private archives taken in November 1989 and during the events preceding the Velvet Revolution.
The exhibition authors selected photographs not only from the agency’s archives, but from some 1,300 pictures from more than 30 regional and district towns and villages.
“This gives a very colourful picture, depicting the breakthrough moments as well as small human stories,” Markova said.
“The process of the exhibition creation was based on a slightly detective work. The original idea to collect photographs mainly from the public and institutions out of Prague was accompanied by extending the database of photos by former CTK photographers, stored deeply in the archives,” the exhibition’s curator Kristyna Jiratova said.
A very rich collection of photos of the revolutionary events in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia was thus created, she added.
“To me personally, the most important part of the project are exactly the photographs from the public, that is from many amateur photographers who often managed to take absolutely unexpected and original pictures,” she added.
Along with the Velvet Revolution, the exhibition also shows some previous events, the photographs of students and members of the Civic Forum (OF) umbrella alliance of non-communist forces.
The revolution is also depicted through period posters, leaflets and signs. A series of photographs of Vaclav Havel, who became the country’s first post-Communist president in December 1989, makes a certain transition to the pictures of the revolution echoes, the fall of Communism symbols in public places and the final part focused on the first free elections since the 1948 Communist coup, held in June 1990.
CTK presented the Moments of the Velvet Revolution exhibition for the first time at the Summer Film School in Uherske Hradiste, south Moravia, at the end of July. In late September, the outdoor display moved to Olomouc, north Moravia, for a month.
The project follows up last year’s touring exhibition Moments of the Century marking the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia as well as CTK in 1918.
Like last year, CTK again prepared materials for schools on the current exhibition that can be downloaded on okamzikysametu.cz.