Pink tank occupy Raoul Wallenberg Square, in the name of democracy

By on September 10, 2019
Czech artist David Černý's work Pink Tank will be exhibited at Raoul Wallenberg Square in September!

Thirty years after the democratic upheavals in Central and Eastern Europe, one of the most important symbols of liberation – a pink tank – has come to Stockholm. On Monday morning, Czech artist David Černý’s work Pink Tank was opened at Raoul Wallenberg Square, in the presence of Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček and actor Lena Endre, among others.

The artwork is a new version of the original work, and a wink to the early spring morning three decades ago, when Černý and a number of companions painted a Soviet tanks monument in Prague pink. Pink Tank came to be a part of art history and at the same time a acknowledgment that culture plays an important role for a democratic society.

The exhibition in Stockholm, “The Pink Tank – Constantly Striving for Democracy” will be held by the Czech Embassy in Sweden and Kommuninvest and will run from 9 to 30 September 2019. During the summer, the artwork was part of the OpenART art exhibition in Örebro.

The Czech Republic wants to mark the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, which turned the country into a democracy without wasting a single human life. Kommuninvest, the municipal finance cooperation that is the largest lender to municipalities and regions, wants to pay attention to the role of democracy and culture in the good society.

Comment from Jiří Šitler, Czech Ambassador in Sweden:
– Anyone who cannot learn from their history is doomed to repeat it. Unlike other countries in Central Europe, the liberation of Czechoslovakia did not require human life. This makes the Velvet Revolution particularly interesting. It shows that intellect and culture can defeat a dictatorship – without having to resort to weapons.

Comment from Tomas Werngren, CEO of Kommuninvest:
– Kommuninvest is a member cooperation that rests on a democratic basis. Therefore, it feels natural for us to enable Pink Tank’s presence first at OpenART in Örebro, and now in Stockholm. Democracy is not a public sport in the sense that citizens should stand and watch. If for convenience we do not actively safeguard popular government, the risk is that simplified and misleading arguments and anti-democratic forces will lead the development in the wrong direction. Art and other culture that foster humanism and critical thinking can contribute to democratic energy.

Comment from Lena Endre, actor at Dramaten:
– This installation is such a strong symbol of what can be achieved with art. The pink tank makes us question the meaning of war and oppression and also opens our eyes to the fact that a future without violence is possible.

About the Velvet Revolution

The fall of 1989 marked the end of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia. On November 17, thousands of students gather in Czechoslovakian capital Prague for a peaceful demonstration in memory of Czech students killed by the Nazis. The demonstration ends in violence when the police force intervenes. The event will be the start of a stream of popular protests, led by the Civic Forum movement and its front figure Václav Havel.

The protest movement eventually led to Czechoslovakia getting its first non-communist government in four decades, with Václav Havel as president. The transfer of power was called the Velvet Revolution because the changes could be implemented without human losses. The new government launched democratic reforms and negotiated the withdrawal of the Soviet army, which has occupied Czechoslovakia since August 1968.

Don´t miss the exhibition “The Pink Tank – Constantly Striving for Democracy”, the exhibition runs from 9 to 30 September 2019 and can be seen at Raoul Wallenberg Square!

Culture | Pink tank occupy Raoul Wallenberg Square, in the name of democracy