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Tuesday 22.01.2013

The anti-democratic makeover of the cultural scene in Hungary

'Attention: Cultural coup!' – demonstration by Free Artists in the Kunsthalle Budapest on December 28, 2012 (Photo: Dániel Kováts)

Your Solidarity is needed!
Free Artists


Ellen Polus

Free Artists

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'Recent legislative steps in Hungary point towards the authoritarian transformation of the institutional structures and funding system of cultural life, by giving an ultra conservative artist group close to the rightwing government, the Hungarian Academy of Arts (MMA), an unassailable position of power. According to their stated intentions – formulated in the government's draft law, which is to be voted on in February 2013, the MMA would take over several state tasks and responsibilities in the field of culture; thus, for example, they would participate in the selection of directors of cultural institutions and museums, and even encroach on how professional organizations work. From the beginning of 2013, the Műcsarnok / Kunsthalle Budapest, which is the most significant venue and symbolic space for contemporary art in Hungary, will become the property of the Hungarian Academy of Arts. Furthermore, they will also have the right to define the principles and professional concepts of the art policy of the institution. It has become evident that the actual political executive power intends to control contemporary culture in a direct way with the help of legal regulations and put an end to its still existing plurality. As a result of these decisions, the government has endangered the long-term autonomy, professionalism and democratic procedures of Hungarian contemporary art.'
/Excerpt from the Announcement of Board of the AICA Section Hungary/

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Free Artists is an open gathering of university students and teachers in the arts, artists, art historians, aestheticians, curators and civilians, who demand the restitution of the independence and freedom of Hungarian culture, as they believe in its multifaceted and receptive character, in the validity of critical art, and its positive society-forming power. They have been organizing protests since mid-December 2012, when the scandalous plans became known.
Their activity is documented on the site:
together with news and background information in various European languages.

Free Artists asks for your support in their struggle, as they believe in the power of international solidarity. Don't let this change happen – raise your voice in favor of free culture!

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