Small change huge protest I Tom objects!

published on July 3, 2020

this exhibition has some big acts of

resistance in it and also has some very

small almost ephemeral acts of

resistance in it here

I'm going to talk about a very very big

act of resistance but an object that is

very very small is this coin here as a


designed in 1957 by Maria but she

deliver could shiver my check is

terrible so I'm not going to say that

again she entered a competition to

design this coin that's not just any

coin this is the most important unit of

account in the Czechoslovak regime is

their equivalent of the pound coin

effectively in a remained in circulation

right up until after the end of

communism in 1989 the portrait on the

coin is of a sort of generic female like

an allegorical figure if you like and

she's kneeling to plant the linden tree

which is these national tree of

czechoslovakia except she's not generic

at all this is actually a portrait of a

living person

nobody knew this at the time so who is

she well she was an imprisoned dissident

she was a scout leader known as Jessica

sing cover and a couple of years before

the competition was announced she'd been

leading a band scouting group the the

Czechoslovak Communist Party banned all

scouting and instead introduced his own

version called the pioneers and it

arrested anyone who was still leading

groups now padushka sing cover she

didn't think she was going to be

arrested she thought they were sort of

like leave her alone that was a big


she was arrested and sentenced to ten

years in prison

now her mother was working at the same

institution as the sculptor Maria could

shavar and very could Shiv I learned

about this through her mother and she

was extremely angry at hearing of her

treatment and so she said well I may go

into this coin competition give me a

portrait of your daughter and I'll put

it on the coin and exactly what she did

she didn't win the competition

the entries were selected announced and

she wasn't among them and then the

Ministry of Finance intervened and said

no actually I don't like the winning

design choose this one and he chose

Maria could Chavez design so she got

this imprisoned dissident onto the Czech

or Slovak poin

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