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Mutual Inspirations Festival 2022 - Voskovec & Werich


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REUNION

REUNION

Albeit it was difficult for Werich to travel out of Czechoslovakia often, Werich and Voskovec remained great friends, writing each other smuggled letters extensively across the Iron Curtain. They met several times in Vienna in the mid-60s and lastly in 1974. In regards to the political situation, Werich once said, “The audience would like me to get on stage and say what they are afraid to think. But I do not want to be their hero... After death, I don’t want to be on stamps so they lick me from the back.” Still, Werich did fall out of favor with the totalitarian regime. During the Prague Spring, a period of political liberalization in communist Czechoslovakia that began in January 1968, Werich, along with other artists and intellectuals, signed the 2,000 Words manifesto, which was seen as a call for democratization. The Soviets invaded the country in August and a period of normalization followed. Thereafter, Werich wasn’t allowed to appear on television or speak in public. He reflected, “I am a national artist, but they won’t let me pursue national art.” 


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