Faculty of Arts Commemorates the 47th Anniversary of the Self-Immolation of Jan Palach

On Saturday 16 January 2016, the Faculty of Arts is going to commemorate the 47th anniversary of the self-immolation of Jan Palach. There will be a number of events which will present Jan Palach and the historical events to which he responded from different perspectives.

Debate with the American Poet David Shapiro

14:00, 16 January, Faculty of Arts, Jan Palach Square 2, room 203

The American poet David Shapiro is the author of the poem „The Funeral of Jan Palach“ which inspired John Hejduk’s monument. The text of the poem is part of the installation. David Shapiro was a friend of John Hejduk and was also acquainted with Václav Havel.

For more information about David Shapiro, see the poet’s profile at Poetry Foundation website.

Opening Ceremony: Jan Palach Monument by the American Sculptor John Hejduk

15:00, 16 January, Faculty of Arts, Alšovo Riverbank / Jan Palach Square

The opening ceremony will include presentations by representatives of the City of Prague, the U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, His Excellency Andrew H. Shapiro, the poet David Shapiro; Professor James Williamson of Cornell University, who collaborated with Hejduk to create the original House of the Suicide and House of the Mother of the Suicide; and Hejduk’s daughter, Renata Hejduk.

Professor James Williamson (Cornell University): „John Hejduk: The Suicide Masks“

17:00, 15 January, Faculty of Arts, Jan Palach Square 2, room 200

Lecture held under the auspices of the Department of Art History.

Lecture Series „Jan Palach in Memories and Art“

11:30 – 16:00, 16 January, Faculty of Arts, Jan Palach Square 2, room 200

  • 11:30, Professor Tomáš Halík, Th.D. (Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies): The Legacy of Jan Palach. Lecture on historical, cultural, and spiritual dimension of Jan Palach’s sacrifice, and about its meaning for the present.
  • 13:00, PhDr. Miroslav Pudlák, CSc. (Department of Musicology): Jan Novák – Cantata Ignis pro Ioanne Palach. Listening and musical analysis of the cantata composed by Jan Novák (1921–1989) in February 1969.
  • 16:00,  PhDr. Petr Blažek, Ph.D. (Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes): Jan Palach – Memorable Places and Monuments. Lecture on places related to Jan Palach’s life and sacrifice, and on changes in their reception.


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Photographs: Prague City Gallery Archive, Faculty of Arts Archive

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