Velvet Philosophers Café Seminar
Velvet Philosophers is a term coined by Dr Barbara Day for a collection of Western academics, artists, and intellectuals who taught over a period exceeding 10 years at underground seminars in Communist Czechoslovakia in order to provide persecuted citizens of Czechoslovakia with access to world-class education and to maintain cultural links between the East and the West. This extraordinary venture began in the late 1970s with a letter sent by a prominent Czechoslovak philosopher to the University of Oxford, inviting Oxford scholars to teach at informal seminars held weekly in Czech and Slovak flats. The offer was accepted and a stream of academics and artists soon started to flow, resulting in the establishment of the Jan Hus Educational Foundation to oversee and organize the project.
In the spirit of this initiative, the discussion event was an informal café seminar held in a quiet coffee shop in the centre of Oxford.
› Dr BARBARA DAY
› Dr RALPH WALKER
› DAVID MATTHEWS
The debate was organised by Kubo Macak & Karel Chromy