Vaclav Havel

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COP26: ‘We could despair and say nothing we do has any relevance until the behemoths who are driving the climate catastrophe choose to change. Yet all successful social change begins small.’ Photograph: Emily Macinnes/Bloomberg

Vaclav Havel, playwright, political dissident and former president of Czechoslovakia, once wrote a much-quoted piece about hope. What he prefaced it w(...)

Chairman of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, Vojtech Filip: “I am very disappointed because it is a really big failure.” Photograph: AFP/Getty

Czech voters evicted the communists from parliament for the first time since the end of the second World War, voting out a party whose forebears had r(...)

Raised amid humble circumstances in Baltimore, Zappa became interested in doo-wop, R&B, the avant garde experiments of Edgard Varèse

Much as I am opposed to wielding the vertical pronoun in reviews (that’s one used already), it is proper that, when discussing a documentary on a musi(...)

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban. Photograph: Aris Oikonomou/AFP via Getty

“The natural disadvantage of democracy is that it is extremely tiring to those who mean it honestly, while it allows almost everything to those who do(...)

UK prime minister Boris Johnson (left) and former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. Photographs: Neil Hall/EPA and Patrick Hertzog/AFP via Getty

We could be witnessing the beginning of the end of the United Kingdom. The centrifugal forces of competing nationalisms are strong enough to recast th(...)

Can the Greens trust Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil? The answer that many Green members and activists will reflexively give to this question is: no. Photograph:  Cyril Byrne

The Green Party is in the midst of a difficult and often emotive debate with itself on the question of coalition with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. The t(...)

People rally in Prague against the government of prime minister Andrej Babis the day before the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. Photograph: Gabriel Kuchta/Getty

Czechs and Slovaks took to the streets over the weekend to mark 30 years since the Velvet Revolution and protest against current leaders whom they acc(...)

Czech president Milos Zeman and China’s president Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last April. File photograph: Madoka Ikegami/Reuters

Hundreds of thousands of Czechs are expected to gather in the streets of Prague this weekend, just as they did 30 years ago for rallies that swept awa(...)

People attend the protest For a Decent Slovakia on the first anniversary of the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova. Photograph: Vladimir Simicek/AFP via Getty

Fifty-five years separate Martin Butora and Karolina Farska, but both see this weekend’s anniversary of the 1989 Velvet Revolution as a time to celebr(...)

When almost a million people gathered on Prague’s Wenceslas Square and much of the country joined a general strike, it was clear that political authority had changed. Photograph: Lubomir Kotek/AFP via Getty Images

Tomas Halik admits questioning the scope of papal infallibility during a private Vatican dinner with Pope John Paul II in November 1989, when the pont(...)

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