When Havel became president of Czechoslovakia at the end of 1989 -- and later, the president of the Czech Republic -- he became a powerful symbol of a new era of politics. Surely the country would "live in truth" as long as it had a president of unimpeachable character. On the practical, day-to-day matters of politics and economics, however, Havel was not as influential.
One of the key contributions of the Polish opposition movement was its concept of living "as if." This "as if" approach greatly influenced opposition movements elsewhere in the Soviet bloc. In East Germany, for instance, Gerd Poppe was deeply involved in the transition from the conspiratorial work of the 1970s to the more open organizing of the 1980s.
One night in the spring of 1991, David Cerny painted the tank pink. "Of course, it was a political statement and at the same time it was an artistic action," Cerny told Radio Praha. "And it was a lot of fun." He told me a different story in an interview in his favorite pub in Prague back in February.