In another shocking political maneuver, the Budapest city government has ousted György Szabó as the director of Trafó House of Contemporary Arts and replaced him with choreographer Yvette Bozsik.
Here is why this decision flies in the face in intelligence and decency: György Szabó is a phenomenon. He is beloved in the fields of contemporary performing and visual art and has grown Trafó to become one of the most internationally well-respected presenting houses in Europe. György Szabó and Trafó are one in the same; it is impossible to imagine Trafó without Gyuri and vice versa. He has mentored and nurtured countless artists, opened the doors to international collaborations between people and venues across borders, introduced Hungarian audiences to some of the most exciting, ground-breaking work from across the globe, and introduced international presenters and audiences to some of the most sophisticated, exciting Hungarian work.
György Szabó is a visionary with impeccable taste and a passion for increasing the profile of Hungarian performing and visual artists.
Is Yvette Bozsik a choreographer who is talented and makes fine work? Yes. Has she ever run a presenting organization with a multi-faceted artistic profile? No. Does she have ANY experience as a presenter? No. Does she know anything about contemporary music, visual arts, or theater? We’re not sure. Is she in the pocket of the current Hungarian government. She seems to be. Will she end Trafó’s international profile? YES. All the better for this government.
We are, frankly, stunned by the transparency of this decision. The ruling Fidesz government gets bolder and bolder in their actions that scream–Silence the artists! Stop communicating with the mean horrible terrible EU and the US! Fire anyone who is too progressive or who wants to talk to and, god forbid, collaborate with the outside world! Hungary is only for the Hungarians! It’s pathetic…and frightening.
For more information on the details of this decision and to find out how to support György Szabó, please join the Solidarity for Szabó’s Trafó group on Facebook.