In Septembre 2020 students occupied Budapest’s University of Theatre and Film Arts (SZFE). A large number of teachers and professors were joining the protest. It was directed at the Orbán government’s measures which took away universities’ independence of teaching and their autonomy. A fatal sign for the freedom of the arts in Hungary.the Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German) here.
From mid-November, the university’s premises were closed. The students had no possibility to continue their studies. The E:UTSA network, of which ADK is a member, tried to help.
The ADK, its management, lecturers and students, support the Hungarian colleagues and students.
“The freedom of the arts and the independence of teaching are a guarantee for an open, civil society. We support the students* who stand up for and defend these values. Our solidarity goes to the Budapest Theatre and Film School, which, like ADK, is a partner in the European theater network E:UTSA.” Elisabeth Schweeger, Artistic Director of ADK
Call for solidarity by Hungarian theater director Árpád Schilling (September 2020)
»The Hungarian theatre needs your help!« (German Translation hier)
Dear Theatre directors, Actors, Playwrights, Dramaturges and so on…
in short: Dear Colleagues,
You may have heard that Attila Vidnyánszky (director of the National Theater of Budapest and MITEM Theatre Festival), acting on behalf of the Hungarian government, seriously violated the autonomy of the University of Theater and Film Arts in Budapest and, with the powerful help of the government propaganda media, put political pressure on the university’s leadership and a number of internationally recognized teachers and artists. Instead of professional arguments, ideological and political propaganda permeates this violent “conquest”.
The Senate resigned as a result of indecent and unprofessional attacks, and in response, students occupied the main building of the university. Students aim to regain freedom of education and the arts. More and more people are standing up for the institution and the students. Most recently, the Berliner Ensemble issued a statement in which they distanced themselves from Attila Vidnyánszky and cancelled their guest performance at MITEM Festival, in the meantime Salman Rushdie expressed his solidarity with the students who barricaded in the building by sending a supporting photo.
I ask you too to support the cause of university students, the autonomy of universities and the artistic freedom. Please, cancel your participation in the festival organized by Attila Vidnyánszky, distance yourselves from him, issue a statement or send a supporting photo. Please use the hashtag #freeSZFE for supporting statements or just write this phrase on your palm, hold it up to the camera and post the photo on your social media account with the #freeSZFE hashtag or send it to the email address of the press team (email@example.com).
The Hungarian theatre needs your help!
Annexed, you can find a description and some video links that may help you to understand what has happened in recent months at the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest, and at which horrible high level the Hungarian cultural life became politicized.