A playwright became a president, a singing revolution overthrew a dictatorship, forbidden writers climbed on balconies and talked to the crowds. 1989 was a unique year, when artists had the chance to create a new political system, and when free creativity was the sign of a new age in Central and Eastern Europe. What do we take today from this period? Can artists be designers of a new social order? Should they aspire for that? And how much of the legacy of artists and activists of the generation 1989 is alive three decades later?
A whole day gathering brings together artists, activists, scholars and leaders of different generations to discuss among themselves as well as with broad public. The discussion will be accompanied by performances, screenings, and a library of banned books. Organised within the project ‘Engagement through Culture before and after 1989’ with the support of the ‘Europe for Citizens Programme’ of the European Union.

Curators: Tereza Porybná et Jitka Pánek Jurková


1989/2019 – Then and now

The notoriously activist artist David Černý and the political scientist Jiří Přibáň are looking back on 1989 and its significance for today in a discussion moderated by Pieter DeBuysser.

Revolution is not a garden party

Maya and Reuben Fowkes, Klara Kemp-Welch and others exploring artistic initiatives and communities existing outside the institutional framework in Central and Eastern Europe prior and post 1989.

Public space as a site for civic action

Pavel Karous and Kristina Norman both deal with the significance of art of the communist era in public space. They will engage with Svatopluk Mikyta and Zuzana Bodnárová, the curators of the appraised Slovak gallery Banská St A Nica Contemporary, and other speakers. 

Heroes not for just one day

Artists and activists discussing their engagement in Europe today – Sonia Dermience, Tamara Moyzes, John Jordan from the French collective ZAD, Sébastien Hendrickx from Extinction Rebellion and others.