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Vaclav Havel 1936-2011

Why he did not join the European Artist Forum/Gulliver in 1987 in Amsterdam. (an invitation was sent to him by Günter Grass, co-signed by Steve Austen) Havel interviewed by Max Wagener (Gulliver/Felix Meritis): “I am sorry I cannot come but I have no passport and it’s a question whether they are able to give it to me or not. But if they give it to me there is a big danger that they might stop my citizenship during my stay outside the country and then I cannot come back. I cannot risk them making an exile of me. I have my home here and want to live here and continue with my work. You ask me if the situation will improve. I hope it will. I think that history cannot stop in one moment and everything stay forever without change. The general situation will be better, but I don’t know how quickly or slowly it will go. I don’t know when the situation will be visibly better but I think that at some time it must be changed. About this Forum, I support the idea very much because our continent is divided and everything we can do against this division we do for us all.” The informal working body Gulliver (Amsterdam, 1987) is aiming at the creation of a European, non-governmental, informal and independent working group as a platform for the exchange of ideas between individual European artists and intellectuals on essential issues for the future of European culture. In 2004 the aims and activities could be integrated in the “A Soul for Europe”-initiative, launched in Berlin by a.o. Richard von Weiszäcker. Both initiatives, Gulliver & A Soul for Europe, are supported and co-organised by the Felix Meritis Foundation in Amsterdam.

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