The non-governmental non-profit organization OPONA, o.p.s. (“The Curtain”, a public benefit corporation) was established in the fall of 2007 to develop free, publicly accessible commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain – the event which has considerably influenced the lives of people in the countries of the former communist bloc, opening totally new opportunities and possibilities for them.
The projects developed by Opona in 2009 showed how much people’s lives both here and in neighboring countries have changed and how different they are from the lives of their parents and grandparents. The founders of Opona were in high school during the Velvet Revolution, and thus are quite able to express the enormity of the change caused by the collapse of the East bloc. Their goal was to celebrate the end of the totalitarian regime through the development of unique projects. Above all, their intent was to use these projects to warn against any possible forms of totalitarianism’s return.
In the last mentioned goal, Opona sees its primary future activities. The upcoming cultural and educational projects follow the already implemented projects such as Totalitarian Circus and the Calendarium of Totalitarianism, the theater performance Personal History, the book Now and Forever, the scale model of Totalitarian Simulator , the interactive website Nezapomente.cz (Donotforget.cz), the documentary series Wonderful Years Without the Curtain shown on Czech TV, the international conference and also the celebration on November 17, 2009 called simply 20 Years Without the Curtain, which was attended by 25 thousand people.
Today, Opona’s activities focus primarily on the realization of the interactive hands-on exhibition space Totalitarian Simulator as well as the projects which emphasize the importance of intercultural and civic dialogue, support of democracy, its principles and active participation in everyday life. Democracy and freedom are not to be taken for granted. That fact is often forgotten. The history of central and eastern Europe during the past century shows that in our region, it is forgotten about every 20 years. The year 2009 marked exactly 20 years since the beginning of greatly desired democratic changes. Our goal is to do our best so that this time, we will not forget the lessons of the past. And this will not just happen of its own accord.
OPONA, o.p.s. is financed by contributions from the state and municipal governments, EU funds, foundations, donations, etc. More information about its financial backing can be found in annual reports.
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and other partners listed by each project.