Jan Gogola

* 1971

  • "And then I remember it more at the National Street, where we were in the second row in front of the cops. And I just remember such thing that we said, 'Today we're going to let them beat us.' After sitting there for a while, we realized that there was very likely to be a conflict and that we couldn't leave. That day it looked like the beating was going to happen and that it had to be endured somehow. I was scared, scared of what would happen. I put on my hood, I had a coat, I put on the hood, and we waited with tense anticipation and in considerable fear of what was going to happen."

  • "I remember my amazement. As a nineteen-year-old boy — how those people changed. Because when you read it in books or articles, it's different from seeing a person running around with a voice recorder, saying, 'I've got Kryl, I've got Kryl!'. And two months earlier, the man had written an article about how computers were a tool of Western imperialist policy. I remember physical feeling of not understanding what was going on, how it was possible, how a lot of these people had turned around without blinking an eye and moved along with the new age current."

  • "We had a civics teacher who kept really Stalinist attitudes even in 1989. And there were conflicts with her in civics classes. I remember one of the reasons of a very heated argument, it was when I asked - we had a People's Militia notice board in the classroom, and I asked her why the People's Militia still existed if we didn't have a bourgeois class anymore. And, of course, it was a sensitive question, well aimed, and I think it was justified: against whom was the People's Militia supposed to guard socialism, when no capitalism existed in our country anymore. And she reacted very angrily and confrontationally. She made an inquiry in the class after Palach´s week, what people thought about it, and she said we didn't have to sign it. A student from the next class signed it and then got in big trouble because he had written that he agreed with the demonstration. There was a certain atmosphere of fear in the classes, and I think we had the opportunity to experience some of the spirit of the times, in the sense of forced power actions."

  • Celé nahrávky
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    Uherské Hradiště, 17.04.2021

    délka: 02:50:17
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

When you have a belief, you have to endure something for the sake of it

Jan Gogola, 1977
Jan Gogola, 1977
zdroj: Witness´s archive

Jan Gogola was born on 24 August 1971 in Uherské Hradiště. His parents, Jan and Manuela Gogola, maintained contacts with local intellectuals who were not in agreement with the ruling communist regime. Little Jan was often present at meetings and discussions with the Vaculka couple, artists, and the sculptor Otmar Oliva. He first realised that he was not living in a free country when his primary school teacher rejected Foglar‘s book The Rapid Arrows. At grammar school, Jan and his friends founded the choir Tomahawk. Some members of the choir were arrested before one of the regional rounds of the Porta Festival, and Jan and his classmates faced interrogations and threats that they would not be allowed to take their final exams. In 1989, Jan Gogola signed a petition called “Several Sentences” and in October of the same year, as a journalism student, he took part in anti-regime demonstrations at the occasion of the 71st anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia. There was a clash with the state armed forces. Almost three weeks later, on 17 November 1989, he stood in the second row against the riot police unit at National Street. In the following days, he joined the student revolutionary committee. After returning to Uherské Hradiště, he supported activities of the Civic Forum, which was co-founded in his hometown by his father Jan Gogola Sr., a well-known playwright. During the 1990s, Jan completed his studies in journalism and applied for admission to the Department of Documentary Film at FAMU [Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts] in Prague. During his rich professional life he worked as a film director, dramaturge, journalist and teacher. In 2021 he gave lectures at the Faculty of Multimedia Communications at Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín. He is married to Martina, together they raised their daughter Eliška and son Šimon.