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Mutual Inspirations Festival 2019 - Marta Kubišová


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DISSIDENT

DISSIDENT

During her time as a dissident, the communists banned her music from the airwaves, but Radio Free Europe’s Czechoslovak Service kept playing her music to viewers who managed to tune in. She also auditioned to sing vocals for the Plastic People of the Universe (PPU), a Czech underground rock group who were imprisoned for not conforming their sound to the regime. The secret police prohibited her from collaborating with the rock group saying they would make her life extremely difficult. She also was a signatory of the human rights manifesto Charter 77, and its spokesperson for a year, which brought even greater scrutiny. The secret police even utilized the help of her second husband Jan Moravec, who monitored her for them. Later, she helped lead the 1989 Velvet Revolution with her signature ballad A Prayer for Martha, singing from a balcony above Wenceslas Square on November 21, 1989. The revolution restored freedom and democracy to the nation and marked her return to the stage. In regards to the thousands gathered to see her during the Velvet Revolution, she said in an interview with Prague Radio, “I didn’t cry, I was overcome by the sheer sight of the whole square jammed with people. I said to myself, no singer ever had a comeback like this! Foreign film crews told me people were in tears and when they asked what are you crying for, they said, it’s that woman…”

Photo credit: CTK, December 12, 1989

 


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