Festival opening
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Festival opening

“Truth Prevails?” Opening evening of the festival

We start the sixth year of the festival by opening the exhibition The Power of the Powerless. Questions for Václav Havel at a Distance, followed by a discussion at the Staré Brno Abbey. Havel said that the weapon of the powerless is a “life in truth”– that truth of which Jan Hus once realistically wrote that it “wins over everything, even if it is temporarily beaten”. Faced by the decay of many institutions and certainties today, can we still ask: truth prevails?

The shock of the pandemic shows that what is essential in a crisis is our approach to reality and the ways in which we relate to ourselves, others and the environment. It demonstrates the risk of losing a sense of the whole, of relationships and connections between things, of broad horizons, and indeed of sense itself.

For Meeting Brno 2021 we sought a patron who had been able to face the urgent challenges of recent years, someone who embodied the seeking of sense and truth. And we did find such a patron, the actor Sarah Haváčová, who has had three remarkable experiences of volunteering. The year before last, she went to help children in a school in Africa. During the first lockdown, she planted trees in the Moravian Karst to replace those lost to a bark beetle infestation. And since last autumn, she has been comforting dying patients at the Covid-19 section of the Hospital of the Sisters of Mercy of St Borromeo in Prague – run by those nuns who ten years ago cared for Václav Havel as he went to meet his maker.

Sarah Haváčová and her brother, the historian Ondřej Haváč, will jointly guide us through the opening evening. They will seek the truth about the state of the Czech education system with Ivo Jupa and Jiří Zajíc, and the truth about the impact of climate change with Marek Orko Vácha. And with Sister Maxmiliána and Ladislav Kabelka, they will look for the truth about working with powerlessness in dying and death, which we have faced in the past months at an unprecedented rate.

The musical accompaniment to the evening will be provided by the band Květy.

Programme will be held in czech only.
Limited capacity. We suggest booking your place below on this site.






Augustinian Abbey
Mendlovo nám. 1
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