Ľubica Lacinová

* 1959  

  • “In 1989, I already knew in spring that something was happening and that the regime started to fall apart. Early in the year, in January or February, we, as environmental protectors, received an invitation to the meeting of the Young European Greens in West Berlin. Zora Paulínyová, Oto Makýš and I were chosen to attend. I think it was also due to being a doctoral candidate at SAS, and at that time I could already speak English. In those days, it was not common for people to speak any other language than Slovak. We got the invitation quite late. Back in the day, it took three to four months to get the exit visa. I needed it in two weeks. With a small hope of succeeding, I asked for a meeting with the director of the Passport Department in Bratislava II. She accepted me and I started to diffidently explain that we were invited; that it is an official event; and that they do not understand how long the visa process takes here, in Czechoslovakia. She just replied: 'Is two days okay for you?' It was the moment I realized that things were changing. So I got the exit visa and we were out to Munich where we met with the Young European Greens. It was a three-day meeting where we exchanged experiences between the countries.”

  • One of the main problems of establishing the Green Party was that we did not realize the need for a democracy to have self-defense mechanisms. We wanted to preserve the equal opportunities and let everyone express themselves. But when there is a democracy without any self-defense or self-cleansing mechanisms, it will inevitably end up controlled by certain groups whose intentions are not always pure. We had, I think, a rule that no communists could run for our party. However, from the very beginning, there were ŠtB (State Security) agents who joined us and caused some damage. It was only later when the lustration had started that we found out about all of them. We could not have identified them, nor could we have resisted them.

  • “I perceived it very negatively. The first election in 1990 turned out well; we were content. Meanwhile, I got back home. It was during the time when the republic started to fall apart. I found it very difficult because I wanted Czechoslovakia to remain together. In that time, I joined multiple movements for the preservation of Czechoslovakia led by Soňa Čechová, Vlado Čech and the people from those circles. It was the movement for common Czechoslovakia; we had a similar partner organization in Prague; we kept in touch. The movement was not a part of the VPN (Public Against Violence). In that time, the VPN started to partly come to terms with the dissolution of the republic. The movement for common Czechoslovakia was organized, and Vlado Čech, the son of Soňa Čechová, was its official founder and leader. The movement cooperated with a Czech partner movement; I forgot the name; I think it was Demokraté 92 (Democrats 92). We were collecting signatures for the preservation of Czechoslovakia. Back then, we collected over a million of them. The signatures were counted in millions, however, I am not sure anymore whether it was one or two, but it was definitely several lorries filled with signature sheets that were delivered to Prague castle afterward. It took place during 1992, but maybe it started already in 1991. I think we delivered the signatures in the spring of 1992. That is the reason why we found it very difficult to hear Havel say that there was no petition against the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, because there was indeed a petition, and the signatures counted in millions. But I really do not remember if it was one or two. Even so, it went up to millions not hundreds of thousands.”

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    Bratislava, 21.01.2019

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Even after the revolution, the term ecofeminism was still seen as something from another planet

Ľubica Lacinová was born on June 15, 1959 in Bratislava and grew up with her grandmother in Skalica. During her first year at grammar school, she moved back in with her mother to Bratislava. Besides studying physics at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of Comenius University in Bratislava, she dedicated her time to photography and organized student exhibitions and events. After graduating from the university, she worked as a scientist at the Institute of Normal and Pathological Physiology SAS as well as pursued photography. It was the photography that led her to Bratislava environmental protectors grouped under the Slovak Union of Nature and Landscape Protectors (SZOPK). In one of the branches of the SZOPK - the Basic Organization 13 (základná organizácia) led by Juraj Flamík, she co-organized weekend rescue operations and Tree of Life Summer Camps. In the spring of 1989, along with two other SZOPK representatives, Ľubica traveled to the meeting of the Young European Greens in West Berlin. After her doctoral thesis defense in June 1989, she tried to make the arrangements for a year-long university exchange in the USA. In November, like many other environmental protectors, she actively joined the revolution. In December 1989, Ľubica and the protectors who did not join the VPN founded the Green Party, the first Czechoslovak party to push for the environmental issues. Unlike most of the protectors who left their jobs to work for the VPN, Ľubica did not give up on the opportunity to travel to the USA. She traveled to Philadelphia in March 1990 and prolonged her stay afterward. At the end of 1991, after she arrived home for good, she resumed her work, actively joined the feminist movement “Aspekt” and founded the Alliance of Women in Slovakia. She resented the growing voices advocating for the separation of Slovakia from the Czech Republic and engaged in the Movement for the Czechoslovak Understanding against the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. She helped to collect the signatures whose number reached over one million. From 1991 until 2001, Ľubica worked at a university in Munich. Today, she works in the field of physiology at the cellular level in the Centre of Biosciences SAS.