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Taiwan signs MOU with Czech library to promote bilateral exchanges in literature

  • Date:2023-02-06
Taiwan signs MOU with Czech library to promote bilateral exchanges in literature

The National Museum of Taiwan Literature (NMTL) and the Václav Havel Library (VHL) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Feb. 6 to strengthen their relationship through literature exchange. The signing ceremony, conducted via video conference, was overseen by NMTL director Nikky Lin and VHL executive director Michael Žantovský.

The MOU includes agreements on several aspects, such as thematic exhibitions showcasing literature from both countries, the exchange of librarians and experts between the two institutions, and publishing and professional training programs, with an aim to deepen mutual understanding between the people of Taiwan and the Czech Republic.

This year, a special thematic exhibition of Taiwan literature is slated to be held at the Václav Havel Library. Besides human rights issues, the exhibition also covers a wide range of themes such as transgender and ethnicity, fully demonstrating the island's diversity, vibrancy, and openness. Next year, the National Museum of Taiwan Literature will host an exhibition on Czech literature, featuring works by Havel, showcasing his expressions of political resistance.

In his speech, Director Lin said that former Czech President Václav Havel reminded him of Taiwanese writer Yeh Shih-tao (葉石濤), who kept Taiwanese literature alive with his writings during difficult times.

Executive director Žantovský mentioned that the digitalization of NMTL's collections, its virtual museum, and online exhibitions are worth learning. He hopes that a residency program will be launched in the future to facilitate deeper exchanges between Taiwanese and Czech authors.

Havel was a playwright, poet, and political dissident. During the 50th anniversary of the founding of the U.N, he took the occasion to voice support for Taiwan's participation. Havel's works, "The Power of the Powerless" and "Dopisy Olze : cerven," were translated and published in Taiwan, deeply influencing a generation of Taiwanese intellectuals.