Hungarian Watch

Solidarity with Szabó’s Trafó

In Uncategorized on January 22, 2012 at 10:20 am

In light of the recent firing of György Szabó as the director of Trafó House of Contemporary Art, his supporters have begun a blog: Solidarity with Szabó’s Trafó.
Here, you can find statement’s of support from Szabó’s colleagues from all over the globe and articles in English on the changeover at Trafó.  The authors of the blog are encouraging people to send them letters of support for Szabó and his team at

One of the most interesting articles posted on the blog is an interview with choreographer Yvette Bozsik, who has been chosen by the government to replace György Szabó, and her artistic collaborator, choreographer Csaba Horváth, entitled:
We would make Trafó more open.”
In this interview, Bozsik stresses that it was the Hungarian dance community that urged her to apply to replace György Szabó at Trafó and to open up the institution to more Hungarian artists.  She goes on to say…

“…I don’t like this „taste-terror” which prevails at Trafó. I do not like that Hungarian companies are forced out of the institution. It has been 13 years that György Szabó’s taste determinates the communication toward other countries and the picture they create about us…György’s opinion has determinated the possibilities of the Hungarian companies about performing abroad. The above mentioned communication and adoption skills are the ones we would like to change. Consequently, if we win, we, referring to contemporary artists, would like to move into wider media and convey more projects abroad.”

Interesting.  She complains about Szabó’s “taste-terror” and how it has reigned at Trafó for the past 13 years.  The man is a presenter and a curator who runs a presenting organization.  His job is to have a specific aesthetic point of view and put that into practice in his programming.  That’s what a presenter does.  Now, Bozsik will be a presenter and it will be her “taste-terror” that rules Trafó’s programming.  But she has never run a presenting organization.

She goes on to describe what her “taste-terror” will look like:

“I have always integrated different art fields during my work because I do not care about dance by itself. We would not change the profile of the Trafó, however, we would like to open toward the direction of experimental children theatre, baby theatre and highlight the integration of disabled artists and problems of the society. We would like to support international coproduction, invite choreographers from abroad to work with Hungarian companies. We would like to make the theatre field wider as well, to bring in stand-ups, improvisation theatre and support everything that moves the Hungarian artists’ situation forward…And if we win, we would not like to let only one person’s view determinate the work in Trafó, he/she could have whatever kind of strong characteristic.  We would establish an art council in which several opinions could discuss with each other.”

Baby theater? Stand-ups? An art council?  All who love Trafó, say bye-bye.

Here’s what the current Hungarian populist movement most love most about Bozsik’s “taste-terror”:

“Trafó would set up and have a link to the Hungarian countryside as well. We would invite the award winning performances of Veszprém Dance Festival and we would keep an eye on the Hungarian workshops beyond the Hungarian borders, and not only theatre from the West would be introduced but from the East as well.”

There you have it.  She says all the right things to consider her a willing puppet.  She never once mentions bringing the most cutting-edge international work TO Trafó.  But she mentions Hungarian work…a lot.  A lot, a lot.


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