Prague is launching a campaign to mark the 30th anniversary of the events of November 1989. The city has invited three of the most famous photographers of that time — Jan Šibík, Karel Cudlín and Tomki Němec — to collaborate to create its visual appearance.
The campaign is called Praha slaví Samet! (Prague Celebrates Velvet!), and it links city-supported civic and cultural projects dedicated to the anniversary.
The Velvet Revolution culminated on November 17, 1989, It ushered in the end of communist rule over then-Czechoslovakia, and the start of a free and democratic society.
“Prague and our society have changed significantly over the past 30 years. I dare say in a number of ways for the better. The city has grown, and the atmosphere in society has relaxed. But some things have not changed, political culture often lags behind,” Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) said on the City Hall website.
“This is one of the reasons why it is necessary to keep in mind that freedom and democratic principles are not free, and that people need not only to fight for them, but also to constantly work on them.”
“Because this is the only way to deal with the past and prevent a repetition of our predecessors. I also perceive the importance of celebrations in the fact that they could help unite our occasionally divided society, just like our hopes were [united] in 1989,” he added.
City Councilor Hana Třeštíková (Praha sobě) said celebrations will be held in the streets. “The strong atmosphere that is taking place in Prague on November 17 should not be hindered but encouraged. Therefore, this year the city will not hold any major event, but has distributed 15 million CZK to the organizers of 46 events,” Třeštíková said.
City Councilor Hana Kordová Marvanová (United Force for Prague) was one of the direct and active participants of the November 17, 1989 events.
“It is not only for this reason that I believe that the legacy of 30-year-old events must be remembered every day. There are a number of socio-cultural events in Prague that will be a dignified memory. I personally look forward to meeting the direct participants and those who actively contributed to the fact that we are still living in a democratic and free country today,” Kordová Marvanová said.
November 1989 will be commemorated by six selected photographs by Jan Šibík, Karel Cudlín and Tomki Němec in the campaign. The visuals with these images will appear on the streets of Prague, in the metro and in other means of public transport, at the airport, in the press and in internet media.
The visual campaign is meant to support the projects, activities and events that will take place in Prague on the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. Prague paid 210,000 CZK without VAT for the visual campaign.