Human Rights and
International Democratic Solidarity

Goodbye Lenin Program

Václav Havel Institute

11.22.12

Goodbye Lenin Program 2012

With the aim of analyzing the socialist experience in Central and Eastern Europe between 1917-1989, the transitions to democracy, the communication of dissent and independent journalism in communist dictatorships, the Václav Havel Institute of CADAL's Democratic Bridge Program, organized the Good Bye Lenin Program. The program was aimed at young students and university graduates under the age of 30 and included five classes between October 31 and November 22, 2012 that had as speakers the Ambassador of the Czech Republic, H.E. Petr Kopriva; Ewa Majkut, Second Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs Section of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Buenos Aires; the historian Ricardo López Göttig and the writer Fernando J. Ruiz.

With the aim of analyzing the socialist experience in Central and Eastern Europe between 1917-1989, the transitions to democracy, the communication of dissent and independent journalism in communist dictatorships, the Václav Havel Institute organized the Good Bye Lenin Program. The program was aimed at young university students and graduates under the age of 30 and included five classes taught between October 31 and November 22, 2012.

The first two classes were in charge of the historian Ricardo López Göttig, who analyzed “The construction of socialism in Europe” and “The collapse of real socialism”. In two days, López Göttig addressed the following topics: The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917; Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin and the formation of the Soviet Union; Agrarian reform, superindustrialization and militarization of society; Postwar Soviet expansion: Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary; Economic, social and political problems; How Dissidence Arises in Central Europe: Solidarity and Charter 77; Perestroika and Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost; The events of 1989 and the collapse of the "socialist camp" in Europe; The Transitions of Socialism: Velvet and Iron Transitions.

On Wednesday, November 14, Dr. Fernando J. Ruiz was in charge of the dictation of the third class, presenting "The communication of dissent in communist dictatorships", stating that the construction of dissent is above all the creation of media communication to be able to disseminate information and alternative interpretation frameworks to the majority of citizens.s a la mayor parte de la ciudadanía.

On Thursday, November 15, the documentary "The power of the powerless" was screened in the auditorium of the CEMA university on the occasion of a new anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. The 78-minute long Documentary was directed by Cory Taylor and tells the inspiring story of the 1989 Velvet Revolution. Narrated by Oscar winner Jeremy Irons, the documentary includes original interviews with dissidents such as former President Vaclav Havel. . The Ambassador of the Czech Republic, H.E. Petr Kopriva, was in charge of the closing remarks.

On Thursday, November 22, the last class "It all started with Solidarity in Poland" was given, by Ewa Majkut, Second Secretary of the Political and Economic Affairs Section of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Buenos Aires.