Programme 2017


The MENE TEKEL festival programme

Tuesday, 21st February

The Brno Prologue

The „Brno prologue“ is part of the Mene Tekel festival and is organized for the public by the „Paměť“ foundation in cooperation with the Czech Confederation of Political Prisoners, the Military History Department, the American Fund and many other organisations.

14.00 The „Cejl“ Prison in Brno — Prison Excursion (Invite Only)

16.00  Memorial Service — the execution area. Attended by public figures and representatives of the religious organisations.

17.30 The Atomic Shelter 10-Z in Brno, Husova Street — Opening of the comics exhibition „We Are Still At War“ commemorating the 3rd resistance.


Saturday, 25th February

In cooperation with the Czech Republic Senate, the Czech Confederation of Political Prisoners and the Prague Academic Club 48.

10.30  Memorial plaque in Nerudova street, Prague 1

A memorial service commemorating the 69th anniversary of the student’s march for freedom and democracy to the Prague castle on the 25th or February, 1948.

11.30 Hradčanské náměstí

Laying of the Unity bouquet at T. G. Masaryk Statue


Sunday, 26th February

19.00  Vinohrady Theatre

Official award ceremony — Dame of Czech Culture, Knight of Czech Culture & Maecenas of Czech Culture

In cooperation with the Mene Tekel festival, the minister of Culture Daniel Herman will honour artists whose artistic paths were intercepted by the totalitarian power, as well as artists which were persecuted or denied human rights due to their unbreakable and admirable ethic stances.

During the same event, the minister will also honour those who have economically or else-wise supported arts and education in the means of our national spiritual and democratic traditions.

The Gaudium Praha choir, lead by Zdena & Vladislav Souček and accompanied by Jitka Nešverová on the piano, will perform compositions by the great czech masters.

Ceremony directed by Jan Řeřicha and Daniel Hnát.

Tickets required.


Monday, 27th February

13.00  Our Lady of the Snows monastery, Prague 1, Jungmannovo náměstí

Opening of the inter-generation exhibition project „The Paths of Faith, The Paths to Freedom“

Written, directed and produced by MgA. Daniela Řeřichová and Mgr. Jan Řeřicha.
Curated by Mgr. Michal Kuchta.

Hosted by PhDr. Jiří Gibián

Evaluation of the art competitions and award ceremony

Under the patronage of MgA. Eliska Kaplický Fuchsová, the head of The Culture, Landmark appreciation, Art exhibitions, tour & travel and international relationship committee of the capital city of Prague.

Presentation of the exhibition composition authors.

Presentation of book titles reflecting the festival theme.

“The Paths of Faith, The Paths of Freedom”  will run in the Our Lady Of The Snows Monastery until the 9th of March. Open daily from 10AM to 6PM. Free entry.

15.00  Our Lady Of The Snows Church, Prague 1, Jungmannovo náměstí

The grand opening of the 11th Mene Tekel Festival

Hosted by PhDr. Jiří Gibián.

Attended by the representatives of the institutions cooperating with the Mene Tekel project.

With a performance of the Mukl hymn and verses by Jiří Herzinger.

Accompanied by the chamber music concert by Trio Cantabile: Ludmila Vernerová (vocals), Václav Kunt (flute), Hana Müllerová (harp). Programme: A. Dvořák — Biblical songs; C. Caccini — Ave Maria for soprano, flue and harp; G. F. Handel — the Süsse Stille aria, sanfte Quelle, for soprano, flute and harp; E. Bozza — Aria for flute and harp; M. Ravel — Piece en forme de habanera for flute and harp; J. S. Bach — the Schweigt ihr Flöten, Schweigt ihr Töne for soprano, flute and harp.

21.00, Jazz & Blues Club Ungelt, Týn 2/640 — Týnská ulička, Prague 1 — Old Town

The Jazz Bridge. A concert by the prestigious festival guest Ed Vokurka

E. Vokurka was born in Prague in 1939, graduated from the conservatory in 1957 and won the nation-wide piano/violin competition. He graduated the Rail University and was regularly performing in legendary jazz clubs such as Reduta, Alfa, Vltava, Viola and etc.

Due to political reasons he emigrated to Toronto in 1967. It didn’t take long and he was appearing alongside musical stars such as Joe Venuti, in the renowned “Bourbo Street” jazz club. He performed several grand concerts with his band at the famous Stratford festival, and worked with many jazz formations. Ed Vokurka holds the title of Master of Applied Arts and Science (M.Sc.) and has been repeatedly nominated as forefront jazz musician by the Canadian national arts committee. In 2006 he received the National Jazz Award for best violinist, later he won the multimedia competition Senior Star, was part of the prestigious television cycle Sunday Serenades and regularly performs at a variety of events.

He has been a professor at the Toronto Humber College for 30 years, and has written many scripts, as well as a book about the metric system in Canada.

Ed Vokurka never lost contact with his homeland, his works relay the rich cultural heritage of his land. He has worked with Karel Kryl and Josef Škvorecký, and was one of the headliners of the 1990 concert in Toronto Theatre for 2,500 attendees, and represented the Czech artist community during the first visit of president Václav Havel in Canada.

Also presenting the special guest of the concert — the Josef Vejvoda Trio

The Josef Vejvoda Trio was formed in 1998 by Josef Vejvoda (the son of the famous “Škoda Lásky” composer), who has worked as a top drummer in many Czech jazz projects. He played in Karel Velebný’s legendary SHQ and Laco Deczi’s Jazz Cellula.
One generation younger, contra-bassist Ondřej Štajnochr and pianist Kryštof Marek are part of many jazz formations, and work in the areas of classic music as well as studio players. The Trio perfumers mostly original pieces inspired by a number of characteristics from the jazz and classic music eras.


Tuesday, 28th February

School programme in cooperation with Minor Theatre

9.30 Minor Theatre, Prague 1, Vodičkova 6


An interactive performance for elementary schools that introduces the students to the basics of the democratic system thanks to a unique technology voting system.

18.00 Ponrepo Cinema, Bartolomějská 11, Prague 1

An Evening for Israel

Under the auspices of the embassy of Israel to the Czech Republic.

Blues By The Beach

Documentary film, USA, 2004, 75 mins
Written, directed and shot by Joshua Faudem

In April of 2003 a group of filmmakers were shooting a film about Mike’s Place — a known Tel Aviv blues bar with live music.
During the shoot a terrorist attack occurred, leaving deaths and injuries behind.
The documentarists kept alert and left the camera rolling. The result is strongly suggestive picture of today’s reality.

“Blues By The Beach” received a number of award around the globe.

The screening will be followed by a discussion with the film author.

Joshua Faudem is an American-Israeli documentarist. He graduated FAMU in Prague, directed and produced many important documentary films and TV shows in Israel, Europe and North America.


Wednesday, 1st March

School programme in cooperation with Minor Theatre

9.30 Minor Theatre, Prague 1, Vodičkova 6


An interactive performance for elementary schools, that introduces the students to the basics of the democratic system thanks to a unique technology voting system.

18.00 Ponrepo Cinema, Bartolomějská 11, Prague 1

An Evening for Lithuania

Under the patronage of H.E. Edvilas Raudonikis, the extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador of Lithuania to the Czech Republic.

Mission: Siberia

Project “Mission: Siberia”, and expedition to the Tomsk area in Lithuania, 2016, 52 mins, Czech subtitles
Directed by: Julia Ciurupa
Camera: Vaidas Ažbualis

Czech Premiere

Even though thousands of Lithuanians were deported to gulags, their stories were not allowed to be spoken about. It wasn’t until 2006, when the project “Mission: Siberia”, a group of young adults, started showing interest in these stories. They organised several expeditions to Siberia and other areas of the Soviet Union, to where the uncomfortable citizens were deported.

Mission: Siberia 2016 shows a 60-minute experience mapping the 5,548 kilometres from Vilnius to the Russian city of Igarka, where the members of the expedition marked and documented the largest cemetery of deported Lithuanians, and reignited their dramatic fates for the future generations to see.

Upon return, the expedition members organise presentations and exhibitions showing their activities.

The screening is followed by a discussion the expedition members and project authors.


Thursday, 2nd March

10.00 Ponrepo Cinema, Bartolomějská 11, Prague 1

School programme in cooperation with “Dcery 50. let” (“The Daughters of the 50s”)

Winged Freedom

What is freedom? An often elevated word, a desire for something, a vision of free life. This year’s topic of Paths to Freedom festival was a memento of the families oppressed by the totalitarian regime.

The storytelling production created from authentic stories shows the history as it truly was. The female hosts with lead the students to the atmosphere of unfreedom and will present feelings of the children in their age during the 1950s. They will present a story of a DAUGHTER’s journey to another country. The show was created using the storytelling technique and will be told by Eva Burešová and Bára Schneiderová.

An authentic story by DAUGHTER Hana Truncová, who helped her friends on their journey to freedom, for which she suffered several years in prison.

A film document “Children of the 50s”, created by students of the Audio-visual Arts field at the Philosophy-Nature faculty in the Silesian university in Opava. The film stars the children of the 50s: Helena Kunstová, Jaroslava Matoušková and Petr Melichar, telling the stories of their harsh experiences cause by the involuntary seclusion from their parents.

Followed by a discussion with the attendees.

18.00 Ponrepo Cinema, Bartolomějská 11, Prague 1

An Evening for Latvia

Under the patronage of H.E. Alberts Sarkanis, the extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador of Latvia to the Czech Republic.

Melanias Hronika

Feature film, Latvia/Czech Republic/Finland, 2016, 124 mins, Czech subtitles

Written and directed by: Viesturs Kairišs
Czech co-production & contact: 8Heads Productions, Bílkova 868/10, Prague 1,

Czech pre-premiere

The film is inspired the by story of Melanija Vanaga, who survived her deportation to Siberia.

On the morning of the 15th of June, 1941, Latvia was occupied by the Soviet forces. The forces deported nearly 17,000 people that day.

Melanija and her son had to survive a 3-day transport in a cattle card, they need to survive life in an alien  environment among enemies. Streaming her frustration, Melanija starts writing a diary, that will later become the basis for a literary work depicting her 16 years of exile.

From her notes, Melanija Vanaga completed a documentary book “Velupes krasta” which couldn’t be released until 1991, when Latvia gained independence. The stories later became the foundation of a 8-part cycle “The Gathering of Souls”, reflecting not only Melanija’s tragic fate, but also the tragic fate of he entire Latvia.

During her exile (1941-1957), Melanija was writing letters to her husband Alexandrs who never replied.

Only after returning home to Riga, the discovered that her husband didn’t even survive a year in the harsh conditions.

Melanija dedicated the rest of her life to passing the testimony of the cruel fate of the innocent deportees to Siberia. Though, the film is also about the human inner strength in overcoming the hardest life situations.

The screening is followed by a discussion.


Friday, 3rd March

14.00, The main hall of the Czech Republic Senate, Valdštejnské náměstí, Prague 1

Under the patronage of Jaroslav Kubera

International conference: “Word, it’s strength and abuse”

Hosted by PhD. Tomáš Grulich


            1st Part Personal testimony and historic analysis
            2nd Part The Fragments of Memory award

The Fragments of Memory award is awarded in form of a Symposion creative scholarship, to authors that  reflect socially important historic and present topics in their works. The Fragments of Memory award is decided by an independent panel. The creative scholarship value is determined by the panel based on the recommendation by the donor — Pavel Faiereisl.

18.30, H20 Club, Koněvova 61, Prague 3

We will only hang the Incumbent

A scenic reading from a diary of a priest, who lived through 10 years in several prisons and work camps.

Mons. ThDr. Antonín Huvar (1922-2009) was a Czech catholic priest, a member of Orel and the Scout, a university lector and writer.

The text is mostly taken from the memoirs of Antonin Huvar  “Shards “. It starts with his detainment and first interrogation, and ends with his release. It follows not only the battle for physical and spiritual survival, but also the paths of surviving the years of constant danger fully and in dignity.
Entirely with sentiment, and leaning on harsh humour, Huvar offers a message on the detail on the totalitarian bestialities, as well as on the motivation to live inner freedom, when it’s externally constricted.

Staring the actors of the Slovácko theatre Lukáš Ruml and Jan Horák. Directed by Zuzana Horáková.


Saturday, 4th March

14.00 The Juridical Hall of the High Court in Pankrác, Prague 4

Under the patronage of JUDr. Jaroslav Bureš, the head of the high court in Prague

The Machalka and co. process Reconstructon

The final seminar of the law students at the law faculty of Charles university in Prague, lead by the law faculty dean Prof. JUDr. Jan Kuklík.

Written and directed by Mgr. Jan Řeřicha
Attended by the students of Law Faculty at Charles University in Prague.
Professional cooperation: PhDr. Alena Šimánková, PhDr. Aleš Kýr and Alena Kafková

The process against the representatives of the “Machalka and co.” order was closely connected to the so-called “Číhošť miracle” and the planned “Action K”. When the exemplary process with the Číhošť incumbent failed, due to his death on the 25th of February, 1950 in the prison hospital, caused by the brutal investigation, the communist leadership set a new direction of the repressive policy against the Roman-Catholic church. The religious commission of the communist party ordered for the selected members of all-men orders to be arrested, and to comment the process with them. In connection with the “Číhošť miracle”, abbots Bohumil Vít Tajovský and Augustin Machalka were arrested, and in 1950 seven more members of the order were arrested — based on the personal selection by the head of the religious committee and justice secretary Alexej Čepička. The court proceedings took place between 31st March and 4th April 1950, and the court senate was led by JUDr. Jaroslav Novák. The prosecutors were: JUDr. Karel Čížek, JUDr. Josef Urválek and JUDr. Ludmila Brožová.
Ján Ivan Mastiliak, the greek catholic redemptorist was sentenced to a life-time in prison high treason and espionage. The other 9 accused were sentenced to a total of 132 years in prison. The “Katolík” magazine editor and Jesuit Adolf Kajpr never lived to leave the communist prison — he died of a heart attack on the 17th of September in the Leopold prison hospital. All defendants were fully rehabilitated in 1993.

16.30 The Pankrác Prison vestibule

A memorial by the commemorative plaque, remembering the victims of the Nazi and communist totalitarian regimes


Sunday, 5th March

14.00 St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle

The traditional closing ceremony of the Mene Tekel festival — an ecumenical mass for the executed, tortured and deceased political prisoners

Prepared in cooperation with Prague archbishopric, the Ecumenic Council of Churches and the Czech Confederation of Political Prisoners.

Led by Prague archbishop Dominik Duka.

The mass composition will be prepared by the master of ceremonies Mgr. Vojtěch Mátl.
Musical production led by MgA. Josef Kšica and MgA. Jan Steyer.

Featuring performances by the ČVUT vocal choir, the cathedral choir and soloists.

Directorial cooperation: Mgr. Jan Řeřicha.


The “Paths of faith, Paths of freedom” exhibition will be open in the Our Lady Of Snows church until the 9th of March. Open daily from 10AM to 6PM. Free entry.