Shattered Memories, Living Objects: Workshops and Exhibition

With the HCZ project, the team of Eleven Emlékmű (Living Memorial) slightly modified its traditional methodology. While the public discussions traditionally organised by the group aim to counterbalance the official propaganda and fake news and create a space for ordinary people to speak up and engage in free public discussions, for the aim of the HCZ project we decided to concentrate on objects that carry memory. A call was published asking for stories of remembrance related to objects of the last 100 years. Several dozens of objects and stories were thus collected including memories of the 1st and 2nd World Wars, the Holocaust, the Soviet Occupation, the 1956 revolution, the Kadar-regime and the system-change in 1990. According to our traditions, the we organised workshops during which several discussions took place where people presented their objects and told their stories. Each workshop event was followed by vivid interest and various problematic periods of the country’s history were debated in a peaceful and friendly atmosphere but not void of deep emotions. The stories and the debates were video recorded and in a follow-up series a dozen of longer interviews in the informants’ houses were also recorded on video.

First a photo exhibition was organised with a booklet containing the stories written by the informants, and in November-December 2019 a new exhibition took place with a specially elaborated web-design: only the objects (50) were physically presented on the spot, and for each object, its story (in written and in audio or video form), photos, films and other documents related to the objects were accessible through internet and through tablets provided by the exhibition. The same content is still available on the web. A video presentation of the exhibition was also recorded.



28 October 2020 Budapest Workshop on the Representation of the Nation: The Trianon Trauma

The Living Memorial group organised a contest for young artists about Trianon. In 1920, it was in the Trianon Palace that the Paris-Versailles Peace Treaty for Hungary was signed. Hungary was on the side of the defeated and thus lost 2/3 of its territory and half of its population. In the Hungarian public opinion this is labelled as the “Trianon trauma”. The Hungarian government often makes use of this event in its nationalistic propaganda and commissioned the creation of a national monument to commemorate its 100th anniversary. The Living Memorial’s call for young artists encouraged them to create alternative memorial plans. 17 young artists participated in the competition with 18 works of art. They were presented and debated at an online workshop, where winners were also designed by a professional jury of artists and art historians. The workshop raised interesting questions about the representation of the nation and will be continued in December.


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