From the 15th-18th November 2019, the Project Forum staged the 10th Central European Forum, looking at the legacy of the Velvet Revolution with respect to contemporary circumstances.
About the forum:
Opening with a discussion in Bratislava’s Umelka Gallery, where the Slovak equivalent of the Czech Civic Forum, Verejnosť proti násiliu [The Public against Violence] was founded in 1989, the 10th Central European Forum took a closer look at the legacy of the Velvet Revolution and the continued need for solidarity in the face of fear.
Contrasting the different fears of then and now, this year’s forum looked at the impact of the pace of socio-economic change, climate change and divisive politics and set a marker for an open, progressive society by celebrating the work of the Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and crowning her Honororay Central European of the Year for 2019.
As always, the forum also hosted an array of distinguished speakers, with, to mention just a few of the speakers, the Slovak president, Zuzana Čaputová, the British historian, Timothy Garton Ash, the Hungarian essayist, László Földényi, the Turko-German author, Zafer Şenochak, the American anthropologist, David Graeber, the French MEP & journalist, Raphaël Glucksmann, the Czecho-Austrian journalist and publisher, Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi, and the Russo-American journalist and author, Masha Gessen, all taking to the stage.
To find out more about the individual discussions at this year's Central European Forum, look at the following section of the page and click on the respective titles.
Click on the titles below to find out more about the individual discussions.
It was all supposed to be different - Gallayová, Bohuš & Posch
It Was All Supposed To Be Different. Slovakia After 1945 is a new guide for teachers and students of Slovak history, from the end of the Second World War through the Prague Spring and the Warsaw Pact invasion of 1968 to Mečiar’s fall. This discussion launches the book and discusses its content and intentions with the authors
New forms of fear - van der Linden, Garton Ash & Martin
Fear hasn’t disappeared, it has just changed. Various types of fears of the future loom large all over Europe. Fear has changed, but so has courage. What forms does it take in Great Britain, Hungary and Germany? What role do traditions of defiance, of which 1989 is a potent symbol, play across Europe today?
30 years later - Čaputová, Havel & Hvorecký
Do we need a new set of values? What were the aims of the 1989 street protests? Thirty years ago the Czechs and Slovaks overcame fear. What kinds of fears are we grappling with today? A dialogue about courage, fear and hope and human dignity.
The courage to be Europe - Coudenhove-Kalergi, Földényi, Glucksmann & Şenocak
The fear of populists and the kinds of fears populists feed upon form European politics' biggest Achilles’ heel and the greatest weapon dictators can wield against Europe. How can we distinguish the real causes of fear from imaginary ones and how can we counter them?
The power of the story - Ngozi Adichie & Keulemans
Chris Keulemans talks to the Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, about her becoming Honororay Central European of the Year for 2019 and about the impact which good writing can have upon society, perceptions and the narratives through which we gauge our own relationships with the world around us.
Imagination against fear - Gessen, Graeber & Krastev
The reasons why the politics of fear has triumphed is something we keep discussing – it is the central question at the moment. We have seen many excellent analyses, but the time has come to talk about what chances the public has of standing up against it in an effective way. The time has come to talk about political imagination, taking into account our nations’ experience of totalitarianism.
Fear and hope - Halík & Havran
What does religion have to say about a future full of new threats and of rapidly accelerating change? What answers does it offer in the face of the anxiety that these threats arouse in us? And, at what point – if at all – can fear be transformed into hope?
Videos of the forum's English-language talks can be found at the top of this page and can be accessed by clicking here.
You can also keep informed of media content from other TTT debates by following us on our social media and/or media platforms, where we post information on forthcoming events and publish all new network project recordings
Furthermore, you can stay informed about all new recordings from Project Forum by subscribing to their YouTube channel, which you can reach by clicking here.
Main partners and co-organisers of the CEF in 2019:
To see a full list of partners and supporters, visit the forum’s website at https://ceeforum.eu/projekt-podporili/
The OG & thumbnail imagery for this page comes from a photo by the Central European Forum's Andrea Pukova