1968 Prague Spring & Invasion of Czechoslovakia
Images by Jan Novotny
The Prague Spring officially began on January 5, 1968 when the reformist Alexander Dubček was elected the first secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party. The new leadership introduced freedoms that included loosening restric-tions on the media, speech and travel. The new government also partially decentralized the economy and started to introduce general democratization. Victims of purges during the Stalin era were rehabilitated. The Soviet Union saw the changes as a threat to their hegemony. On August 21, 1968 half a million Soviet and other Eastern Bloc troops invaded Czechoslovakia.
1989 Velvet Revolution
Images by Tomki Němec, Vaclav Havel’s Personal Photographer
In the late 1980s, Václav Havel, a writer and dissident, was the accidental politician who spearheaded the 1989 Velvet Revolution that accomplished a peaceful fall of the communist regime. A true “philosopher king”, Havel fearlessly advocated humanitarianism, environmentalism, anti-consumerism, civil activism and direct democracy to public and world leaders alike. He received numerous recognitions and awards including the Order of Canada, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Gandhi Peace Prize, the Philadelphia Liberty Medal, the Four Freedoms Award, the Ambassador of Conscience Award and the Hanno Ellebogen Citizenship Award. He served as Czechoslovakia’s last president, and the first president of the Czech Republic.
Exhibit Locations in Edmonton, Alberta:
July 30 – August 27, 2018
Edmonton International Airport
Reception and Lecture, Derrick Golf and Winter Club, Edmonton
September 1 – 21
Edmonton City Hall
September 24 – October 7
St. Joseph High School, Edmonton
October 8 – 29
University of Alberta, Convocation Hall