30 years ago, the events of 1989 redrew the political map of Europe, affecting the lives of millions. Looking at those historical moments and their aftermath from today’s perspective the TOUCHING 1989 project combines videoed personal stories of Czech, Slovak, Polish and British people of all backgrounds and of all ages currently living in the UK into one strong voice, testifying to the changes we have experienced within the last 30 years.

Find the most inspiring story in our online gallery below or at the Vitrínka Gallery, part of 1989 The Velvet Revolution photographic exhibition documenting the key events.


Which phrase or word do you associate with the events of 1989?

Petr Čech

Petr Čech is a former professional goalkeeper who spent 11 years playing for Chelsea and 4 years playing for Arsenal before retiring in May 2019.

Monika Gullerová

Dr Monika Gullerová is an associate professor in experimental pathology at Wadham College, Oxford.

Jan Ledóchowski

Jan is an investment banker of Polish origin who helped Solidarity under communism and advised the Polish government on privatisation afterwards.

Princess Renata Sapieha

Princess Renata Sapieha is a philanthropist. She is the founder of a children’s charity Friends of Lisiecki Homes in Poland (FLHIP). In 2001 she received the Order of the Smile in Warsaw. She supports young Polish artists living in the UK.

Lenka Suchá

Lenka Suchá was born and grew up in Slovakia, studied in Edinburgh and Amsterdam and now lives in London and works in film culture and heritage.

Pavel Seifter

Pavel Seifter is a former Czech Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Jana Kirschner

Jana Kirschner is a renowned Slovak singer, songwriter and multiple award winner across several music genres, currently residing in London with her British husband, producer Eddie Stevens.

Edward Lucas

Edward Lucas is a writer and consultant
with expertise in European and transatlantic security, espionage and information
Since August 2019 he has been editor of Standpoint.

Daria Klimentová

Daria Klimentová is a former principal dancer at the English National Ballet. She has been living in London since 1996, where she currently teaches at The Royal Ballet School.

Sam Walters

Sam Walters is a British theatre director who served as Artistic Director of the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond for 42 years.

Basia Korzeniowska

British born of Polish parents; educator, teacher, translator, chair of Polish Citizens’ Committee Housing Association Ltd., fundraiser and organiser.

Júlia Sherwood

Júlia Sherwood is an award-winning Slovak translator promoting the best of Slovak literature in the English-speaking world. She lives in London.

Jan Chodakowski

Jan Chodakowski – Publisher, publicist and architect. Managing editor of London based Polish language book publishers: POLONIA Book Fund and PULS Publications Ltd.

Lucie Wenigerová

Lucie Wenigerová is a Bafta-nominated film and TV producer who has recently worked on the latest film by English film director Sally Potter. Her fiction feature Strawberry Fields premiered at the London Film Festival in 2011.

Basia Hamilton

Barbara Kaczmarowska-Hamilton is an internationally renowned portrait artist. Her subjects have included Pope John Paul II, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Buzz Aldrin. 

Bohdan Švach

Bohdan Švach is the Director for Mergers & Acquisitions with the Teddy Sagi Group and a Member of the English College Foundation supporting the English College in Prague.

Zuzana Palovič

Zuzana Palovič is a Central and East European migration expert and also the co-author of an upcoming book about communism, Czechoslovakia: Behind the Iron Curtain.

Ewa Urszula Stepan

Ewa Urszula Stepan lives in London. She has a strong background in public relations, marketing, project management, fundraising and journalism.

Eva Šuhajková

Eva Šuhajková is a London based artist, taking her MA in painting at the Royal College of Art.

Nancy Hawker

Nancy Hawker is a Middle East expert who researches languages and politics. She first started studying Hebrew and Arabic in Prague in the 1990s, when she was a teenager. She lives in London.

Lucinka Eisler

Lucinka Eisler is a theatre director, actor, freelance performer, lecturer and co-Artistic Director of the Inspector Sands theatre company.

Bibiana Jordan Horvath

Bibiana Jordan Horvath is a chartered legal language specialist and cultural consultant and she describes herself as a passionate, professional, people-centred influencer.

Peter Zusi

Peter Zusi is an Associate Professor in Czech with Slovak Literature at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL.

Zuzana Slobodová-Nepil

Zuzana is a Slovakian translator, journalist and writer who has been living in the UK since 1968. She studied in Bratislava and Oxford and worked for the BBC World Service.

David Vaughan

David Vaughan is a writer, broadcaster, journalist and university lecturer. For eight years he was Editor-in-Chief of Radio Prague and previously he was the BBC’s Prague correspondent.

Jolana Dolejsova-Thompson

Jolana is a photographer and interpreter of Czech origin living in London. She studied in Prague and New York and lived for several years in The Netherlands.

Alexander Goldscheider

Alexander Goldscheider is a composer, music producer and co-founder of the music company Romantic Robot. Born in Prague, he has lived in London since the 1980s.

Madeleine Mullett

Madeleine Mullet is a Film Programmer and Arts Manager at Picturehouse Cinemas. She was born in London, grew up in Los Angeles and spent a few years in the newly democratic Czech Republic before returning to the UK.

Piotr Fudakowski

Peter Fudakowski – Film Producer/Director/Writer. His production, Tsotsi, won the Oskar in 2006 for Best Foreign Film. He studied economics at the University of Cambridge, and gained his MBA at INSEAD. 

Tereza Stehlíková

Tereza Stehlíková works as an artist, filmmaker and a senior lecturer at the University of Westminster. She investigates how the moving image can be used to communicate embodied experience.

Stanislav Librowski

Dr Stanisław Jan Librowski, Member of Polish National Council in Exile in 1989. Chair of Polish Centre in Leamington Spa.

Elzbieta Smolenska

Elzbieta Smolenska is a journalist and photographer living in London. For many years she worked for BBC World Service in London covering political and cultural events.

Kazimierz Stepan

Retired, teaching in London and active in the Polish scouting movement with extensive contacts among former Polish human rights activists.  

Nadia Conway

Nadia Conway is a former Mayor of Enfield and a founder of Levočské babie léto, one of the most influential classical music festivals in the heart of Slovakia.

David Conway

David Conway is a British music historian. Together with his Czech-born wife Nadia David organises the annual music festival in Levoča (Slovakia).

Pavel Klimov

Pavel Klimov was born and raised in Moscow. In 1996 he came to London for training and work experience and since then he lives and works here as a lawyer.

Karel Bartošík

Karel Bartošík was born in London to Czech/Irish parents, studied at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies and now works for the Czech Embassy in London.

Michaela Poláková

Michaela Poláková is a composer and music teacher working for various music services in England. She has been living in the UK for thirteen years.

Richard Cunningham

Richard Cunningham worked for the British Council for nearly twenty years and has been interested in Czechoslovakia since the early days of the Prague Spring.

Jan Marek

Professor Jan Marek is a Consultant Cardiologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital. He focuses on paediatric and prenatal cardiology and cardiovascular imaging.

Míla Fürstová

Míla Fürstová is a critically-acclaimed Czech artist whose work reached an audience of over 400 million people when she created the artwork for the album Ghost Stories by British band Coldplay.

Students of Czech School Without Borders

Isabella, Natalie, Matyas, Miriam and Babetka, students of the Czech School without Borders London, reflect on the 1989 events.

With whom do you associate the events of 1989?

Which colour do you associate with the events of 1989?