For English subtitles, you may have to turn on the caption feature (first button, bottom right).
I wrote a bit about conservative controls on the Hungarian arts scene a couple weeks ago, but now there is a much better piece explaining the situation on ArtLeaks, based on a statement from the International Association of Critics, called “The anti-democratic makeover of the cultural scene in Hungary.” Also see the aptly titled “The Lunatics are Running the Asylum” post over on Beyond East.
Or, just take these titles at their word and revel in the absurdity of the comments in the video above of Gyorgy Fekete. Fekete, the head of the Hungarian Academy of Artists (MMA), was recently given control of Hungary’s entire cultural budget with an authority unmatched since Socialism. There is much choice language in the video above, an appreciation of which is only enhanced by further reading of the above listed articles, which elucidate the difference between reality and Fekete’s statements further. However, my personal favorites are:
- “unambiguous national sentiment” being the third requirement for membership in the MMA, that is “someone who feels at home and doesn’t travel abroad in order to revile Hungary from there.” [00:47]
- “There must not be blasphemy in state-run institutions.” [2:19]
- “This is about a Hungary built on Christian culture; there is no need for constant, perpetual provocation.” [2:25]
- “I don’t give a damn for this modern democracy” [2:46]
- “I cut it myself.” [3:38]
And it’s certainly worth watching to the end. On his haircut, he remarks:
Stay informed of absurd news on the Hungarian cultural scene (and hopefully more positive news as well)! Now in English! Check it out here: Autonomy for Art in Hungary.