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About the project

The schools must also lead young people to become self-confident, participating citizens. Without it, many youth will fail to acquire an interest in politics which then will become the domain of those least suited to it.

Václav Havel, Summer Meditations, 1991 

Václav Havel was one of the leading dissidents and human rights activists of the second part of the 20th century. His twenty year-long history of principled opposition to the totalitarian regime in the face of oppression and persecution, his tireless intellectual effort to conceptualize the principles of non-violent civic engagement and civic responsibility, his acute awareness of the need for solidarity and support of other human rights causes and movements around the world, and his ability to make these ideas  the guiding principles of his role as a politician and statesman when he became the President of the country constitute a powerful legacy and lesson for the present and the future in the never-ending struggle for human freedom, dignity and equality.​

The aim of this e-learning course is to bring the ideas and work of Václav Havel on human rights, civil society and civic responsibility to a generation of young people who were born after the historic changes of 1989 through a multi-media e-learning project in English and Czech. The course is divided up into six lessons which provide a chronological overview of the life of Vaclav Havel. The videos combine spoken word of young presenters and special guests with archival materials. The lessons are shot with a dynamic YouTube-like editing style to attract the attention of the young generation. Thanks to photographs by well-known Czech photographers and attractive archival materials, this course will also appeal to students through its visuals and will get the atmosphere of the time across to them.

Trailer

  

Lessons´Content

Each course is based on a video lecture accompanied by other additional materials. Each lesson contains a:

  • Video lecture
  • Manual for teachers showing how to work with the lesson during the class
  • Worksheet for students
  • Sample test
  • Photo gallery of selected pictures and documents

Target Group

  • later stages of high-school education
  • early stages of college education
  • civil society and human rights organizations and campaigners in other environments and other countries.

Recommended Literature

Michael Žantovsky - Havel: A Life

Written by Michael Zantovsky—Havel’s former press secretary, advisor, and longtime friend—Havel: A Life presents a revelatory portrait of this giant among men and the turbulent times through which he prevailed.

Václav Havel: The Power of the Powerless

Havel's political essay written in October 1978 dissects the nature of the communist regime of the time, life within such a regime and how by their very nature such regimes can create dissidents of ordinary citizens. 

Václav Havel: Open Letters

The selection of Havel's 25 best essays written since 1965. 

Digital Archive

  • The Václav Havel Library in Prague is gradually gathering, digitizing, and making accessible written materials, photographs, sound recordings and other materials linked to the person of Václav Havel. The digital archive is available on-line after registration.

Additional Source of Information about Václav Havel

All Lectures

Lesson The Young Man

The Young Man

Happy Childhood - Communist Coup - Harsh Fiftees - Golden Sixtees (1936 - 1968)

Lesson The Dissident

The Dissident

Invasion - Normalisation - Letter to Gustáv Husák - Dissent (1968 - 1976)  

Lesson The Political Prisoner

The Political Prisoner

The Plastic People Band - Charter 77 - Imprisonments (1976 - 1983)

Lesson The Revolution Leader

The Revolution Leader

Perestroika - Few Sentences - Velvet Revolution (1983 -1989)

Lesson The President

The President

Human Rights in the World - Human Rigts at Home (1989 - 2003) 

Lesson The Citizen

The Citizen

Civil Society - Civil Responsibility (1989 - 2011)

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