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Havel at Columbia
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Havel at Columbia

At the invitation of President Bollinger, Václav Havel arrived at Columbia University on October 26, 2006, for a seven-week residency featuring lectures, interviews, conversations, classes, performances, and panels centered on his life and ideas. The visit was organized by the Arts Initiative at Columbia University.

As an artist, thinker, essayist, human rights leader, and transformational political leader, Václav Havel is one of the most significant cultural and political figures of our time. In November 1989, following nearly twenty years of incarceration or virtual house arrest, during which his plays were banned by the Czechoslovak Communist regime, he was living in internal exile outside Prague. On December 29, he was elected president of a united and democratic Czechoslovakia. For the next twelve years, Havel served as president, first of Czechoslovakia and then of the Czech Republic. His residency at Columbia was his first extended stay in New York since stepping down from office in early 2003.

This six-minute video features highlights of his visit.
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