Visiting Czech High School Students Through “The Power of My Voice” Travelling Exhibition
“The Power of My Voice” exhibition was held at two high schools in the Czech Republic, attracting more than 750 students and teachers. With the same theme as the one held at the Senate in Prague last March, this exhibition was held from May 9 to 13 at Grammar School of Eliška Krásnohorská and from September 12 to 23 at Grammar School Sedlčany in the Czech Republic.
The high school travelling exhibition was designed to raise citizens’ awareness of social problems that the Czech Republic is currently experiencing, and to promote the importance of civic engagement and civic participation for social development. In addition to the existing art exhibition, a discussion forum to communicate with high school students by inviting senators or government officials was also held.
Earlier in May, about 450 students and school officials attended the exhibition held at Grammar School of Eliška Krásnohorská, and on the 26th, a special guest speaker, Senator Tomáš Třetina of the Czech Republic, had a day of discussion with about 50 students. Rep. Třetina actively shared opinions on civic participation with students, and once again emphasized the importance of voting and paying attention to social issues to have a civic voice.
▲ (Left) Grammar School of Eliška Krásnohorská students at the exhibit, Grammar School Sedlčany in the Czech Republic students at the exhibit
One of the students who viewed the exhibition said during the interview, “I liked the part where they talked about the vision of our society because I think that’s the most important part of the future. And, if I had to pick a particular image, I liked the works that expressed freedom the most.” Another student also commented, “I personally liked the image that showed respect between generations the most, because respect is very important in these times. We must respect the elders, because they have lived longer, and their advice is very valuable in our lives.”
Not long after the exhibition was over, the students inspired by the exhibition drew their own artworks on topics such as cooperation, harmony, depression, anxiety, loneliness, and other important topics in modern society. And with these artworks, the Grammar School Sedlčany held its own exhibition at the school hall additionally.
On October 25, Senator Petr Štěpánek and about 57 students gathered for the Discussion Day. Senator Štěpánek spoke about the value and significance of democracy achieved in the Czech Republic. Then, there was a discussion time about the political situation, including the current state of democracy in the Czech Republic, with students freely exchanging their questions and opinions.
Senator Štěpánek said, “It was a great opportunity to discuss democracy in the Czech Republic with students and listen to their thoughts. It was good because there were a lot of interesting opinions that gave good inspiration.” Deputy Principal Mrs. Lenka Lichtenbergová also commented, “I am very grateful to HWPL for providing students with the opportunity to meet a Senator by having the exhibition and discussion day. I look forward to further cooperation with HWPL in the future, and I want to implement HWPL’s Peace Education at our school.”
In the future, “The Power of My Voice” Exhibition will be held at more high schools throughout Czech Republic to promote the importance of the voice of civil society. We hope that the participation of many citizens will let students not only realize the value of democracy in the Czech Republic, but also lead to the continuation of more diverse peace activities in the surrounding regions.