Debate featuring György Dalos, Kornél Mundruczó and Kata Csató, Moderator: Anna Faur (FreeSZFE)
Opening Speech: László Földényi
World Premiere: FreeSZFE, a collectively produced documentary short film
In Hungarian (simultaneous interpretation into German and English provided)
An intergenerational dialogue on the political situation in Hungary is at the heart of the second episode of Break-Up, the new series of Berliner Korrespondenzen. In 2020, students occupied SZFE, the University of Theatre and Film in Budapest, to protest against its privatization and the instalment of pro-government leadership. The collectively produced documentary FreeSZFE captures intense moments during the blockade. We witness all-night impassioned debates, activist role plays and wild protest art—as well as the birth of a truly democratic counter-movement against the so-called »illiberal democracy« of the current Fidesz government. Out of these protests grew the FreeSFZE Society, dedicated to free education and the accreditation of the degrees of the boycotting students. The movement has since seen enormous solidarity among the national and international cultural scene.
In the subsequent debate, three generations will discuss the protest movement, which is unique in recent Hungarian history, putting it into historical, cultural and political context. Like few others, the writer and historian György Dalos—who witnessed the popular uprising of 1956 as a teenager—manages to connect his eventful biography with the history of his home country. The theatre and film director Kornél Mundruzcó is not only one of the most successful contemporary Hungarian artists, but a graduate of SZFE himself. The puppeteer and teacher Kata Csató is currently president of FreeSZFE, responsible for independently teaching students and allowing them to finish their education. The moderator Anna Faur is also a part of the movement and a co-director of the documentary short film. At the beginning of the event, the renowned essayist and cultural critic László Földényi—the 2020 recipient of the Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding—will give a speech, drawing on his experience as a former professor at SZFE. He quit his job in solidarity with the protesting students.
Break-Up, the 2021-22 edition of Berliner Korrespondenzen, looks at the tensions and cracks in the social fabric of post-Covid Europe, asking how younger generations organize protest, voice discontent, take responsibility and imagine alternative futures. To really engage with the next generations’ dreams and grievances, each event combines the screening of an exclusive documentary short film by talented filmmakers with intense debates featuring high-profile thinkers, artists and activists.
Concept & design visual: Keller & Lieder
Berliner Korrespondenzen is a series from the Gorki Forum and Allianz Kulturstiftung, in collaboration with the Humboldt Universität Berlin and sponsored by the Federal Foreign Office.