Artist Talk: Eszter Szakács

Dates: 20 Feb – 20 Feb
Show Time: 5.30pm – 7pm
Tickets: €0 (Free admission, no booking required)

What the Past Holds for the Future: Socialist Solidarity and the Perspective of a Research Exhibition

A curator’s talk within the framework of Active Archive – Slow Institution, organised in association with CCA Derry~Londonderry.

How can the socialist heritage be recalled today? What are the long-term and global ramifications of ‘regime changes,’ when one ideology is replaced by its opposite? How can the field of contemporary art and the spatiality of a research exhibition allow for a complex analysis of historical materials? The point of departure for the talk is located in the concept and practice of international socialist solidarity, a state-directed policy through which the ‘Second World’ (including Hungary and other Eastern Bloc countries) built official relations with ‘Third World’ countries during the Cold War. More specifically, the talk attempts to outline the context and manifold contradictions of socialist solidarity through the case study of socialist Hungary’s media and knowledge production in relation to the Arab World between 1957 and 1989.

Szakács introduces her research exhibition Propaganda, Mon Amour: Palestine As Seen Through Publications in Socialist Hungary and the most recent thematic issues of the online magazine Mezosfera by tranzit.hu – ‘Refractions of Socialist Solidarity and ‘Propositions for a Pan-Peripheral Network’. In doing so, the talk puts forth the importance of historical awareness and the need to critically engage with the state-directed Cold War policies of international solidarity, especially as these transnational connections are somewhat dismissed in both Hungary and across Eastern Europe today, and remain unknown to a generation that was born after the Cold War.

This presentation by Budapest-based curator, editor and researcher Eszter Szakács will be followed by a conversation with Sara Greavu, independent curator and Head of Public Programmes at CCA Derry~Londonderry.