Karel Bartošík was born in London to Czech/Irish parents and grew up in a home that was frequently visited by Czechoslovak emigres. He visited the Berlin Wall a week after it fell in 1989, which was an unforgetable experience for him, as were the events in Prague, Poland and Romania. Karel studied at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) and now works for the Czech Embassy in London.
Peter studied Economics at Cambridge University where he was President of the Union Society. He gained his MBA at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, and started his working life as a banker. But his passion has always been for feature films, so his career in banking was mercifully short. In 1985, Peter and Henrietta set up their own production company, Premiere Productions which is still in the business of feature film production and finance. Peter is also CEO of the UK Film & TV Production Company PLC which produced Secret Sharer, which is Peter Fudakowski’s first feature film as director. He was also the screenwriter. Peter started writing screenplays in 1994 and, together with his script editor and wife Henrietta, has developed and produced numerous feature films, including Tsotsi (2005) which won the Oscar for Best Feature Film in a Foreign Language.
As an Executive or Associate Producer, Peter was involved with The Last September (1999), Bugs 3D in IMAX (2003), In My Country (2004) starring Juliette Binoche and Samuel L. Jackson; Keeping Mum (2005) starring Rowan Atkinson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Maggie Smith; Piccadilly Jim (2005) starring Brenda Blethyn, Tom Wilkinson and Sam Rockwell; Hysteria (2011) starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce and Rupert Everett.
Born in 1952 in Kuala Lumpur Malesia. He graduated from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and as an architect he worked in Great Britain and France. In 1972-1977 he was an announcer and translator at the Polish Section of the BBC, in the 70s he also illustrated books. He is a managing editor of London based Polish language book publishers: POLONIA Book Fund (Wydawnctwo Polonia) and PULS Publications Ltd (Wydawnictwo PULS). In the 1980s, both imprints sought to publish Polish and non-Polish authors whose work was banned by the censor in the People’s Republic of Poland. Many of these publications were reissued by the underground presses of communist Poland.
Nadia and David Conway
Nadia and David Conway are a married couple living in London, who organise one of the most influential classical music festivals in the heart of Slovakia. Nadia was born in Czechoslovakia to a bilingual family and moved to the city of Poprad at the age of eight, where she lived until the age of eighteen. Emigrating to the UK at such a young age, Nadia pursued further education and a career in the public service, being active in the National Health Service, education sector and local government, achieving the status of Mayor of Enfield, settling down with her husband, David.
Due to the threat of imprisonment, Nadia was unable to return to Slovakia until 1989, sending her husband for regular visits to both of her parents, during which David fell in love with Levoča, a beautiful town with a fascinating history. In November 1989, Nadia’s father was in hospital and thanks to the latest political changes she was finally able to return back home, to Slovakia. The first sentence that she has heard from the border officers was “Welcome home!”, a phrase she will never forget. The couple shares their experiences of communism, persecution and the emotional return back into Nadia’s homeland, elaborating on the hardships associated with losing loved ones and being unable to support their family from afar.
Richard Cunningham worked for the British Council for nearly twenty years and had been interested in Czechoslovakia since the early days of the Prague Spring.
Petr Čech was born in Plzeň where he started playing football at the age of seven for Viktoria Plzeň, originally as a striker before becoming a goalkeeper. At the age of seventeen he joined Chmel Blšany and debuted in the first league in a match against Sparta, who signed him less than two years later at the age of eighteen.
After he helped the Czech under 21s team win a gold medal at the European Championship in 2002, he moved to France to play for Rennes. In 2004, Rennes accepted a bid of £7 million from Chelsea for Čech’s move.
Petr spent 11 years playing for Chelsea, winning four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, one UEFA Champions League title, and one UEFA Europa League title. He holds the club’s all-time record for clean sheets with a total of 228.
In 2015, Čech transferred to Chelsea’s rival Arsenal for £10 million. He won another FA cup with Arsenal in 2017. On 29 May, he made the final appearance of his career in a match against his former club, Chelsea. After retiring from professional football, he returned to Chelsea as a technical and performance advisor.
Čech represented the Czech Republic on many occasions including World Cups and European Championships and he was the team’s captain. He is the most capped player of the Czech team with 124 caps.
He holds many records in the Premier League, including the most clean sheets in one season and also in Premier League history. He was voted the Best Goalkeeper several times and holds the record for the number of times he won the Czech Footballer of the Year and Czech Golden Ball award.
Jolana was born in Usti nad Labem and took English&American Studies at Charles University in Prague. In 1993 she was awarded the G. Soros scholarship at Bard College NY, after which she started a career as a translator/interpreter for several companies and institutions in the Czech Republic and the UK. She has translated numerous articles and books. After several years of living in The Netherlands, she moved to the UK in early 1999 where she dedicated her life to raising a family and working as a photographer as well as an interpreter.
Lucinka Eisler reads English and French at the University of Sussex and spent a year assisting on mid-scale classical productions at the Théâtre des Treize Vents in Montpellier.
She then trained as an actor in Paris where she was introduced to the Feldenkrais Method which she later studied in London with Elizabeth Beringer. After graduation, she worked as an assistant director with Theatre O and for Rufus Norris and formed the Stamping Ground Theatre.
In 2005 she co-founded Inspector Sands, a theatre company, with which she tours extensively both in the UK and internationally. The company has received several awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and performed at the National Theatre.
Since 2007, she has taught at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, currently as a movement lecturer. She also runs workshops for actors and theatre makers and actor and director training for the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and the Guildford School of Acting.
Míla Fürstová gained her MA in Art, English Language and Psychology in Prague and her BA in Fine Art Printmaking at the University of Gloucestershire. In 2001, she received a Masters degree from the Royal College of Art.
She has lectured at Coventry University and the University of Gloucestershire. She founded and ran an Etching studio at the Cheltenham Ladies‘ College where she was appointed as the first Artist in Residence.
In 2014 she was commissioned to create the artwork for Coldplay’s album Ghost Stories. Her work is part of many prestigious collections, both public and private, including the V&A Museum in London and the Royal Collection.
Míla Fürstová creates most of her work using the technique of etching which, she says, uniquely reflects and informs the spirit of her work. She describes her work as „an intimate portrayal of the human soul explored through the medium of etching, expressed in a distinctly female voice“.
Alexander Goldscheider is a composer and music producer. He worked at Prague’s Supraphon (1976–79) as a producer. He pioneered the use of synthesizers in Czechoslovakia. Alexander moved to London in 1981, recorded two solo albums, and in 1983 worked at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop producing his own music for radio, TV, and films. He then co-founded a music and computer company Romantic Robot. He produced and released a 2-CD set of music written and performed in a Czech concentration camp – Terezín: The Music 1941-44. Goldscheider concentrates on writing, performing, and producing his own compositions, recording classical singers, large choruses, and the Romantic Robot Orchestra. In June 2018, British record company Little Beat Different released his eponymous vinyl LP.
Dr Monika Gullerová is an associate professor in experimental pathology at Wadham College, Oxford. After beginning her career in higher education with a degree from molecular biology at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Gullerová moved to Vienna to study for a doctorate and extend her research interests. She has joined prestigious labs from around the world, pursuing further studies at University of Oxford, Harvard Medical School, Kyoto University and Exeter College, receiving widespread acclaim for her contributions in the field, including the Women in Science UK award and the Goodwill Envoy award granted by the Slovak Minister of Foreign and European Affairs. Her success eventually culminated in establishing her own laboratory in the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology in Oxford, funded by MRC’s Career Development Award. Most recently, Gullerová received a Senior Research Fellowship by Cancer Research UK, allowing her to further her research on DNA damage repair and its implications on cancer cells. Her contributions helped to pave the way of cancer research and medicine in general. Accrediting the majority of her success to the opportunities presented by the fall of the communist regime, she shares her experience of freedom and hope felt during November 1989, as well as the most distinct memory she has of the time, the ringing of the keys that has accompanied the demonstrations in Czecho-Slovakia.
Barbara Kaczmarowska – Hamilton – was born in Sopot, Poland. Graduated from the Academy of Art in Gdansk and then continued her studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice and Rome. The artist became internationally famous thanks to her great skill in the art of portraiture. She specialises in portraits in oil and pastels.
Regarded by many as the “Ambassador of Poland in the West”, she is listed among the 50 citizens of Polish ethnic background, who made a significant impact on the life and history of the British Isles, among General Anders, Joseph Conrad, King Canute and Roman Polanski.
Her sitters include: His Holiness Pope John Paul II, H.M. Queen Elisabeth The Queen Mother, H.R.H. Princess Royal, H.R.H. The Duke of Kent, H.R.H. Prince Michael of Kent, Lech Walesa, H.R.H. The Maharaja of Jodhpur, H.R.H. Duke of Braganza, Princess Tatiana Metternich, Margaux Hemingway, Alberto Moravia, Giorgio de Chirico, Buzz Aldrin, and many others who all together constitute “the Hall of Fame” in her gallery.
In 1994, the Polish President and the Noble Prize Winner Lech Walesa awarded Basia Hamilton with the Order of Merit – “in recognition of her precious contribution to the spreading of Polish culture and art”.
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.
Bibiana Jordan Horvath
Bibiana describes herself as a passionate, professional and people-centred influencer. She is a chartered legal language specialist and cultural consultant and adviser, bi-lingual family mediator, communities conflict resolution negotiator, Deputy Head of Year in a multi-cultural academy, educator, mentor and life coach.
Basia Korzeniowska was born in Earls Court, centre of Polish émigré life at the time, then lived in South Kensington and went to a tiny boarding school in Ealing. She reads Spanish and English at Sheffield University, and as she always knew she wanted to be a teacher she did her PGCE there in 1978. For the next forty years she taught in a wide variety of schools, eventually specialising in Special Education. The cohesive theme of her career was creative education in the widest sense of the word.
Her passions are people, education, literature, theatre and inclusivity. She hates sport but enjoy walking and taking photographs and writing.
Now on her gap year she is enjoying volunteering her help with the Polish Charity Foundation, St John Ambulance as a fundraiser, chairing the committee of Antokol Polish Care Home and serving on the committee of the Polish Ball. She promotes knowledge of immediate history to school children about the events of the Second World War which led to her parents being here as refugees.
Jana Kirschner is a renowned Slovak singer and songwriter, currently residing in London with her British husband, producer Eddie Stevens. Kirschner released her debut album titled Jana Kirschner in 1996. However, her second record, V cudzom meste, has catapulted her to fame and has made her a winner of four ZAI Awards, a Slávik award, and two Aurel Awards. Her albums Moruša Čierna and Moruša Biela have been crucial in the popularisation of Slovak folk music, introducing this aspect of culture to all generations.
Throughout her career, she has paid specific attention towards exploring contemporary social themes using her music, addressing current issues, believing that art should be used to express opinions and start discussions. Despite living in London, she attends all important occasions held in Slovakia, demonstrating her feelings for her homeland by using her inimitable music and lyrics. Dedicated to keeping the memory of the Velvet Revolution alive, she consistently performs at events commemorating this important milestone in Slovak history, including the 30th anniversary celebrations, raising awareness and educating the younger generations.
Daria Klimentová was born in Prague, Czech Republic, where she started studying at the Prague State Conservatoire of Music and Dance at the age of ten. When she graduated in 1989 with the highest honours, she immediately became a soloist at the National Theatre Ballet in Prague.
After periods with the Cape Town City Ballet and the Scottish Ballet, she was invited to join the English National Ballet in 1996 by its then Artistic Director Derek Deane.
In 2014, after eighteen years with the English National Ballet she retired. She gave her final performance as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet alongside Vadim Muntagirov.
Since 2003, she has hosted the Prague International Ballet Masterclasses with international ballet stars teaching the next generation of dancers.
She is also an avid photographer, focusing on ballet life backstage. Her photos have been published in many magazines and for many years she created the official English National Ballet Calendar.
Daria Klimentová has been teaching at the Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden since September 2014.
Pavel Klimov was born and raised in Moscow. He graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1994 and then read law in Moscow and England and qualified as a Russian advocate in 1997 and as a English solicitor in 2001. In 1996 he came to London for training and work experience and since then he has lived and worked here as a lawyer. In his spare time he runs and studies languages, including Czech.
Born in Rhodesia and brought up in South Africa. His family could not return to Poland after the communists took over in 1945, having been active in the resistance, military intelligence, and as diplomats under earlier governments. Educated at Waterford, a multi-racial co-educational boarding school in Swaziland opposed to the apartheid regime. MA degree in Economics at Cambridge. Financial adviser at SG Warburg and UBS in the City of London for 22 years. On behalf of the London charity Medical Aid for Poland, took the second convoy of trucks with food, medical equipment and printing supplies for opposition activists in Poland after Martial Law was declared in 1981. Adviser on Poland’s privatisation programmes in the 1990s, widely recognised as the most successful of those adopted by any post-communist country. After retiring completed a film-making course at Kingston University. Films include Uncles & Others, Inka and a documentary about the Polish Saturday School in Putney Wimbledon, London. Executive Committee member of the Polish Ognisko club, Chairman of parish charity, Treasurer of Medical Aid for Poland, campaigns against Brexit, and maintains a website on his family’s history.
Dr Stanisław Jan Librowski, born 1959 in Leamington Spa. Educated at the University of Warwick 1978-85, leaving with a PhD in French Studies. Thesis considered the susceptibility of interwar Western intellectuals to Soviet propaganda. Worked for multi national oil companies and as an academic in higher education institutions in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Professor and Dean of the College of Education in Salallah, Sultanate of Oman.
In 1989-91 Member of the Polish National Council in Exile. Awarded Polish citizenship by presidential decree, when the Council disbanded, following free elections to the Polish parliament in 1991. Member of the Administrative Council of the Polish Centre in Leamington Spa since 1981, and chair since 2002.
Lifelong interest in the constitutional arrangements of the First Polish-Lithuanian Rzeczpospolita, and of Polish-Soviet relations 1919-91. Chair of Hillfields History (Coventry) Archives, researching non-managerial alternatives to the factory system in 19th century Coventry.
Edward Lucas is a writer and consultant with expertise in European and transatlantic security, espionage and information warfare. Since August 2019 he has been editor of Standpoint, a monthly current-affairs and cultural magazine.
Educated at the London School of Economics, Lucas became a foreign correspondent in 1988 and was based in Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Moscow and the Baltic states. Until 2017, he was a senior editor at The Economist responsible for the daily news app Espresso.
He has published several books, including The New Cold War (2008) about Putin’s Russia, Deception (2011) on the topic of espionage and most recently Cyberphobia (2015) on online security.
Edward Lucas is currently a senior vice-president at the Centre for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). He also writes a weekly column in the London Times and regularly contributes to the BBC, CNN and Sky News.
Madeleine Mullett is a Film Programmer and Arts Manager at Picturehouse Cinemas. She was born in London of Czech and English parents, grew up in Los Angeles and spent a few years in the newly democratic Czech Republic before returning to the UK to attend university. Since then she has lived in London, raising her two children as bilingual dual citizens like herself. Film programming has led her to work with numerous film festivals in the UK as well as ten years spent working for the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic. Madeleine also worked on the Czech Centre London touring film seasons, enabling cities and cinemas across the UK to access celebrated Czech films for over ten years. Her languages and colourful background have no doubt contributed to her multi-cultural work and breadth of experience.
Jan Marek trained as a paediatric cardiologist in Prague, Houston, and Toronto. Since 1991 he has specialised in paediatric and prenatal echocardiography and contributed to establishing Echocardiography departments in Prague, Munich, and London. Among others, he also participated in developing a nationwide foetal cardiac screening programme in the Czech Republic. Between 1993 and 2005 he worked as a Director of the Echocardiography department and Centre of Prenatal Cardiology at the Children’s Cardiac Centre of the University Hospital Motol, Prague.
In 2005 he was appointed as a Lead Consultant in Echocardiography and later as Lead of Prenatal Cardiology at GOSH, as well as Senior Honorary Lecturer of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, UCL, where he implemented all modern ECHO techniques including real-time 3DE, stress echocardiography and tissue deformation imaging, including dyssynchrony assessment.
He has successfully completed Professorship at Charles University, Prague. In 2014, he received recognition of his professorial title by the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at UCL. He completed five grants as a principal investigator and published more than 150 peer review articles. He published one textbook as a monograph and contributed to several other books and teaching materials.
In 1989, he participated in the protests and was beaten and injured.
Zuzana Palovič is a Central and East European migration expert. Her family fled the communist regime as political refugees, finally settling in Canada. A child of communism who was raised in freedom, Zuzana understands and embodies the perspectives of both worlds. She actively shares her rich experience and intimate knowledge, working closely with key contacts in East European governments, institutions and businesses. She is the founder of the non-governmental organization, Global Slovakia. She is also the co-author of an upcoming book about communism, Czechoslovakia: Behind the Iron Curtain (www.communistczechoslovakia.com) exploring the good, the bad and the ugly sides of the regime.
Michaela Poláková is a composer and music teacher working for various music services in England. She has been living in the UK for 13 years. She studied at the Prague Conservatoire and took her masters degree in composition at King’s College London. She released with Natálie Kocábová the album Ellis Island (2016, Warner Music Czech Republic) featuring British guitarist Nick McCabe of The Verve. She composes music for theatre plays and is currently working on a new album with Natálie Kocábová.
Princess Renata Sapieha
Renata Sapieha is the wife of Prince Lew Jerzy Sapieha Różański. Sapieha is a Polish noble and magnate family of Lithuanian and Ruthenian origin. She has been the Chairman of Friends of MAPF (Medical Aid for Poland Fund), for a number of years has also been the Chairman of FLIP (Friends of Lisiecki’s Homes in Poland). It helps support homes for underprivileged children. In November 2001 she was chosen for the Order of the Smile, which was then presented to her in Warsaw by Princess Nicole Radziwill. She organised the Polish Emigré Ball, a charity gala ball which is one of the highlights of the Polish social and cultural calendar, bringing together the Polish community in Great Britain.
Pavel Seifter started his career as a lecturer in modern history at the Charles University in Prague. After the Soviet invasion in 1968 he was dismissed and had to work as a window cleaner until 1989. During these years, he took an active part in dissident activities and signed Charter 77. In November 1989 he helped to create the Civic Forum movement.
He returned to academia as co-founder of the Institute of Contemporary History in Prague and later became deputy director of the Institute of International Relations.
Between 1993 and 1997 he was the Head of President Václav Havel’s foreign policy department. In 1997 he became the second Czech Ambassador to the United Kingdom and remained in the post until 2003.
He followed his diplomatic career by becoming a distinguished visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Global Governance, LSE, and retired in 2016.
Júlia Sherwood is an award-winning Slovak translator born in Bratislava, Slovakia. Growing up, Júlia experienced at first hand the repressive side of the communist regime. After the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia her parents – Ján L. Kalina, a satirist, cabaret author and film historian best known for his collection of jokes, Tisíc a jeden vtip (A Thousand and One Jokes), and Agneša Kalinová, a renowned journalist and film critic – faced persecution and were banned from publishing, culminating in their arrest and imprisonment in 1972. Following their release Júlia’s parents continued to suffer persecution while she was denied access to higher education. The family emigrated to Germany in 1978 and Júlia was finally able to study English and Slavonic languages and literature at university level. She eventually settled in the UK and after spending more than twenty years working in the NGO sector, she turned to translating and promoting the best of Slovak literature in the English-speaking world. Júlia now talks about her experience of being persecuted by the communist regime and how the Velvet Revolution affected her subsequent life. She reminisces about the difficult times and shares an object that reminds her of those momentous events – an LP by the iconic protest singer Karel Kryl.
Alena came to London 5 years ago to pursue her passion for theatre making and to learn about different approaches. She has been enjoying the variety of London culture.
Zuzana is a Slovak who has been living in Britain since 1968. She studied in Bratislava and Oxford, worked in London and Reading for the BBC World Service as broadcast assistant, monitor and European duty editor. She now freelances as a translator, journalist and writer. She is also an events coordinator for the British Czech & Slovak Association.
Ewa Ursula Stepan
Ewa Urszula Stepan holds an MA in Literature and Theater Studies from the Jagiellonian University in Poland. In 1981-1995 she worked in London as a journalist, art critic, cultural and social events organizer, lecturer and teacher. She wrote numerous articles and reviews published in the UK and in Poland about the UK theater and arts. She wrote reviews for the BBC’s Polish Section and organized cultural events in London for the Polish Social and Cultural Center, the Institute of Polish Culture, the London Film Festival, the London Theater Festival.
In 1994 she went to Poland working for the Delegation of the European Commission, developing and implementing information campaigns about the EU and leading projects in the fields of education, media and culture. In 2004–2012, she led, coordinated and evaluated EU information and promotion projects in Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia. She developed the public diplomacy strategy on climate change for the British Embassy in Poland. In 2008, at the Center for International Relations in Poland, she led a nationwide information campaign preceding the COP14 Poznań climate conference, as well as several other national promotional projects. In 2013 she returned to London, where she continues to work in culture promotion.
Kazik Stepan, born in Lebanon, is the son of Siberian deportees who came to England in 1950. He has a Business Studies degree from the City of London Polytechnic. Kazik lectured in London for 20 years before working in a variety of jobs in Poland between 1993 and 2014. In England he was active in the Polish Scouting movement and in the Polish students’ organisation as well as working closely with the Polish Government-in-Exile. During the 1970’s and 1980’s, he developed extensive contacts with human rights activists in Poland and assisted a number of MP’s and MEP’s on formulating motions and debates in both the Westminster and Brussels Parliaments relating to the suppression of human rights in Poland. He also cooperated with tv journalists making films about Poland and wrote a number of newspaper articles. Kazik visited Poland in 1978 and again in 1980 (accompanying a MEP) but was expelled from the country and banned from entering it for ten years. In 2015, he was awarded the Gold Cross of Merit by the then President of the Republic of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski, in recognition of his involvement in activities leading to the democratic changes in Poland.
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. She is the founder of Sensory Sites, an international collective based in London, generating collaborative exhibitions, installations and research projects exploring multi-sensory perception and bodily experience. Tereza also co-founded Artesian, a journal for committed creativity. She has exhibited internationally, including London, Tokyo and Prague and most recently at the Alchemy Film and Art Festival, and has just completed the large collaborative international art installation Blue Hour for the Prague Quadrennial 2019. She is also continuing her work on her long-term artist film project, Four Generations of Women, as well as Worm Wood.
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 among others the summit in Nice during which decision on the EU enlargment was made. She studied Polish Literature at Warsaw University. In 1988 she received GFPS-scholarships and studied in Munich. In 1989 she participated in ZDF television political debate to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of the WWII with Theo Waigel (then finance minister of Germany) and Hans Jochen Vogel (then leader of SPD).
Students of Czech School Without Borders London
Isabella Kraft, Natalie Carter, Matyas Polensky, Miriam Quhali and Babetka Clark, volunteers at the Czech School Without Borders London, which they have completed in 2018 and 2019, live and study in London.
The Czech School Without Borders is a supplementary Saturday school providing regular education in the Czech language, history and geography to Czech-English bilingual children living in the UK.
Eva Šuhajková is a London based artist, studying MA Painting at Royal College of Art.Šuhajková
Lenka Suchá was born and grew up in Hnusta, central Slovakia. She moved to the UK in 2008 to study at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, a city she fell in love with and which remains her favourite British city to this day. She then went on to study film archiving in Amsterdam before moving to London in 2016, where she currently works in film culture and heritage.
Bohdan Švach has been the Prince of Wales Scholar at the English College in Prague and went on to study on a scholarship at the London School of Economics, receiving First Class degree in Government and Economics and an English law degree. He went on to become Director for Mergers & Acquisitions with the Teddy Sagi Group, working closely with its founder Teddy Sagi, the self-made billionaire and 5th richest Israeli, with a special focus on real estate. Bohdan is Member of the English College Foundation, supporting the English College in Prague and providing opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
David Vaughan is a writer, broadcaster, journalist and university lecturer. His debut novel Slyšte můj hlas (2014) won the Czech Book Prize readers’ award in 2015. The book has just been published in English by Jantar Publishing as Hear My Voice. He is also author of Battle for the Airwaves (2008), a study of the role of the media in the run-up to WWII. For eight years he was editor-in-chief of Radio Prague and previously he was the BBC’s Prague correspondent.
Sam Walters was educated at Felsted School and Merton College, Oxford where he was President of the Experimental Theatre Club. After graduation he trained as an actor before turning to directing with the formation of the Worcester Repertory Company.
In 1971, he founded the Orange Tree Theatre, originally in a room above a pub in Richmond, London. There he introduced many plays by Václav Havel to British audiences including The Memorandum, Leaving and The Conspirators, several of which were British premieres.
In 1989 he was awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship, through which he travelled to Moscow, Leningrad and Prague at the time of the Velvet Revolution.
He is one of Britain’s most acclaimed artistic directors and has received many awards for his work at the Orange Tree Theatre including a Special Achievement Award at the Off West End Theatre Awards and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Kingston University.
The UK’s longest-serving artistic director, he retired from his post of Artistic Director at the Orange Tree Theatre in June 2014.
Lucie Wenigerová is a Bafta-nominated film and TV producer. Most recently, she’s worked as Associate Producer on Molly the latest film by English director Sally Potter, starring Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning and Salma Hayek, due to be released in spring 2020. Her fiction feature Strawberry Fields (director Frances Lea) premiered at the London Film Festival in 2011 and was distributed by Soda Pictures. Lucie worked on the Sally Potter film Yes as Associate Producer and produced the Mist TV series for the British terrestrial broadcaster Five. She is a graduate of the Producing Department of the National Film and TV School. Her graduation short Sap (director Hyun-Joo Kim) was nominated for a Bafta and won multiple awards at international festivals. She is also the founding Chair of the Czech School Without Borders, London.
Peter Zusi grew up in New York City. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in literature at Yale and then studied comparative literature and social thought at the University of Chicago (MA, PhD), where he expanded his interest from German literature to include central European literature and Czech literature in particular. His doctoral dissertation examined the intellectual and ideological functions of the notion of „historicism“ in Czech and German avant-gardes in the interwar period.
He taught for several years in the Slavic department at Harvard before joining the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at UCL, where he currently teaches courses on Czech literature from the eighteenth century to the present as well as courses on central and east European literature and cinema.
He is co-editor of the journal Central Europe.