Retro phone booth in front of National Theatre marks start of Nov. 17 remembrance

The art installation wants to give a 'voice' to people in need through recordings played in the phone booth. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 03.11.2022 11:30:00 (updated on 04.11.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Korzo Národní initiative has already begun its activities commemorating the Velvet Revolution Nov. 17 with an art installation that appeared yesterday on Václav Havel Square in front of the National Theatre.

The installation symbolizes the expanded theme of this year's events, which is giving a "voice" to people in need via recordings played from a retro phone booth.

Those voices on the other side of the line belong to Czechs from socially vulnerable groups. Passerby can choose a number from a given list, pick up the receiver and listen to tales of ordinary people in trouble.

In the run-up to the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, the event's organizers – the Díky, že můžem association – wants to expand the scope of their activities by joining with non-profit groups to highlight the plight of overlooked groups of the Czech population.

The telephone booth installation, entitled "We are calling for help," will be on display until the end of the month. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

"We are calling for help offers a choice of seven stories. The visitor can choose who to listen to on the other end of the headset from a list," said Ester Valtrová, program director of Korza Národní in a press release.

"What's Important for us someone is that people get the opportunity to get to know each organizations that directly help socially vulnerable groups," she added.

The phone booth features stories of people struggling with addictions, debt, homelessness, those who belong to national minority groups, single mothers, and members of the LGBTQ+ community fighting for the same rights as heterosexual couples.

QR codes
QR codes connect callers to NGOs.

Against the backdrop of the current social challenges, the celebration's organizers want to remind the public that solidarity is a fundamental value of the Velvet Revolution.

Every year, the Korzo Národní event opens the whole of Národní třída to the public with a cultural and educational program. Discussions, lectures, presentations, exhibits, and performances are always a highlight of the event.

"This year, we want to bring to the celebrations the idea that Nov.17 is a sign of care and solidarity, to which we adapted a number of program points. In addition, people can count on classic festivties," said Valtrová.

These include theater performances, concerts, and debates dedicated to the upcoming presidential elections, European issues, and the war in Ukraine.

Korzo Národní is the largest celebration of freedom in the Czech Republic. In the nearly ten years of its existence, it has been visited by hundreds of thousands of people.

Nov. 17 is the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day, a national holiday which commemorates not only the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution of 1989 but also occupying Nazi forces executing Czech student leaders and a professor in 1939.

Read more about the 2022 program at

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