John Frankfurt: Vaclav Havel at Columbia University

The Power of the Powerless, A Tribute to Vaclav Havel's Residency at Columbia University

John FrankfurtJohn Frankfurt

"The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility." - Vaclav Havel

This is Peter Clayton with a special Innovation Channel Podcast on TotalPicture Radio. As you know, the former Czech President Václav Havel died this month, 22 years after leading the peaceful Velvet Revolution that ended Communist rule over Czechoslovakia. As well as steering the country to democracy, the dissident playwright also oversaw its peaceful division into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.

In the fall of 2006, President Havel was in residency at Columbia University for seven weeks. His visit to Columbia focused on an exploration of the connection between art and citizenship. In addition to the events with President Havel, the Arts Initiative organized a series of symposia on specific art forms (theatre, music, architecture, art, film, literature) and citizenship. Each of these were moderated by Columbians; several were presented in partnership with some of New York's leading cultural institutions.

At the time, I had an opportunity to interview John Frankfurt, Educational Technologist for Columbia University Center for New Media Teaching and Learning. John had lead an initiative to create an amazing interactive website dedicated to president Havel's residency, the artist, and the citizen. The website is still online, incuding numerous video clips highlighting his residency at Columbia. I thought it would be appropriate to re-publish the interview.

John Frankfurt, wast the Educational Technologist at Columbia University's Center for New Media, Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL), and the Project Manager of an exciting, immersive web site based on Vaclav Havel's residency at Columbia University. In a Innovation Channel segment of Total Picture Radio, we talked with John about the creation of the Havel site and other Web 2.0 CCNMTL interactive projects in December of 2006. John is currenty Director of Online Development at AMC Networks

The Columbia/Havel web site states: "The complexity of Vaclav Havel's life and ideas can be fully appreciated only by viewing him from several perspectives. Havel is not only a political leader, but a world renowned artist. The interviews, archival footage and other library assets found in this section focus on Havel the citizen: his rise to prominence as an essayist, political and human rights activist, and ultimately leader of his country."

"May Truth and love triumph over lies and hatred" Vaclav Havel

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