Havel: The dialogue is necessary only if musicians and authorities talk as equals

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A former Czech President reflected on the issue whether Belarusian musicians should negotiate with the authorities and compared Belarusian “rockers” with the Czech ones.
The ex-President of Czechia Václav Havel has met Belarusian journalists recently – a former editor-in-chief of “Komsomolskaya Pravda v Belarusi” Yuliya Slutskaya and an independent journalist Zmitser Lukashuk. The journalists asked the politician and dramatist Havel about his attitude to the possibility of a dialogue between creative people and totalitarian authorities. The Belarusian journalists mentioned the meeting of rock musicians Ihar Varashkevich, Lyavon Volski, Aleh Hamenka, Alyaksandr Kulinkovoch and Pit Paulau with the deputy head of the Department of Ideology of the President’s Administration Aleh Pralyaskouski.

Václav Havel: “Czech rock musicians played a great role in the fight with the regime on the way to democracy in their time. Speaking about such meetings, I think there can be exceptions when it is possible and necessary to have such contacts. It only depends on the context of the meeting and on the side that will be asking questions. If the meeting is only a way of manipulation or if rock musician feel that they are not talking with the authorities as equals it will be very bad. They may simply be involved in a game or manipulation. If those people have their own points of view … then why not? Such contacts are needed”.

A former leader of Czechia claimed solidarity with the Belarusian people and said that his country was closely watching the things taking place in Belarus. He wished us success and added that some things had to be done in spite of obstacles on the chosen way.

Václav Havel: “Certain things have to be done without trying to predict how useful and advantageous they may turn out to be in the future. You just have to do it because you think it is right. You should not lose hope and belief even if your actions are unlikely to give quick results. Some things are done by your soul and you should follow this impulse”.

The full text of the interview of Belarusian journalists with Václav Havel prepared especially for ERB will be available on our web site soon.