Petr Oslzlý

* 1945  

  • "I had almost the same experience as Jiří Křižan who shares it in his biographic movie. I wanted to attend the Pionýr club but had little hope they'd admit me. And so I got myself a scarf and went to the club gatherings up until there was the official "scarfing" ceremony. I went there as well but there, they removed me from the row and told me: 'Oslzlý, you're never becoming a Pionýr.' And so I hadn't attended later on. Instead, I went to a photography club."

  • "At that time, I applied to the Theater Faculty in Prague. I passed the entry exams. I wanted to do theater. I became friends with Jaromír Hanzlík who was the first one to be admitted while I was the last. Then I was informed I couldn't be admitted there. The Communist Party Regional Committee so decided in 1966. It is remarkable that there was such hatred that as late in 1966, they prevented me from studying."

  • "However, at 3:30 a.m. we finally put it to a vote and the decision was unanimous: we were not signing. I was then the one to tell it to the Association of Theater Artists. I never searched for the letter; whether it's in some archive. I tried to write it as concisely as I could, saying we gave it proper thought. It was based on the argument that we couldn't give our statement in this matter because we hadn't seen the Charter 77 and ask the authorities to share it with us. It was never published and all that went into press was a response. We therefore requested them to provide us with the declaration itself. Only then could we take any stance on the matter."

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    Brno, 01.11.2017

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Signing the “anti-charter” was a mass display of fear

foto dobo.jpg (historic)
Petr Oslzlý
photo: Dobové: Libri Prohibiti, Současné: ibrno.cz

Petr Oslzlý was born on 26 April 1945 in Konice near Prostějov. His father Albert owned a fur-processing factory, which was later confiscated by the communists. What is more, he fas forced to compensate for machines destroyed in the process of their expropriation, despite attempting to prevent any damage. This was one of the reasons of Petr’s distaste of the communist regime since his yearly years. Moreover, the Communist Party Regional Committee decided he would not be admitted to any high school in the country. He trained to become a metal modeler in the Sigma Lutín factory. Having good grades, in 1962 he received a recommendation to study at a higher engineering school. After graduation, he was admitted to the Theatre Faculty in Prague but soon thereafter, the authorities ordered for him to be expelled. In 1968, he managed to get to the Faculty of Philosophy in Brno. In 1973, he graduated from theater science and art history. Ever since 1972, he worked as literary manager in the Husa na provázku theater, later becoming its art director. In 1977, all the members of the theater refused to sign the so-called anti-charter, which condemned Charter 77 declaration. There was an imminent risk of the ensemble’s dissolution but in the end, Petr Oslzlý managed to negotiate its survival. He was in contact with the dissidents. In 1989, he co-organized a nation-wide strike and co-founded the Civic Forum, and then served as an advisor to president Václav Havel. He served as a director of the Center of Fringe Theatre in Brno. In 2017, he was elected rector of the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno. He also worked as an actor and published extensively on theater and arts.