Press Room - 2015

The Mexican Suitcase
Posted: 09/December/2015

The legendary Mexican Suitcase containing Robert Capa’s Spanish Civil War negatives, considered lost since 1939, has recently been rediscovered and is exhibited here for the first time. The Suitcase is in fact three small boxes containing nearly 4,500 negatives, not only by Capa but also by his fellow photojournalists Chim (David Seymour) and Gerda Taro. These negatives span the course of the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), through Chim’s in-depth coverage from 1936 and early 1937, Taro’s intrepid documentation until her death in battle in July 1937, and Capa’s incisive reportage until the last months of the conflict. Additionally, there are several rolls of film by Fred Stein showing mainly portraits of Taro, which after her death became inextricably linked to images of the war itself. Following the end of the war and amid the chaos of the Germans entering Paris in 1940, the negatives were passed from hand to hand for safekeeping, and ultimately ended up in Mexico City, where they resurfaced in 2007.

What Does Privacy Mean in an Open Society? - Watching You, Watching Me Exhibitio
Posted: 07/December/2015

On the occasion of closing the Watching You, Watching Me Exhibition

on December 8, Tuesday, from 15.30 to 17.30 CET the Blinken Open Society Archives hosts the symposium on privacy, security and transparency through remote connection with Edward Snowden.

Inside Look. Film Laboratory
Posted: 03/December/2015

Europe’s Roma communities face deepening challenges of discrimination, violence and poverty. The US. minority rights movement, which has had some notable successes over the past 50 years, also faces continuing problems, including police violence. We believe that a sharing of their struggles would be worthwhile as everyone searches for effective remedies. What were the elements that made the African-American civil rights movement successful? What are the effective models in Europe for Roma integration and opportunity? While there are very different histories and contexts for these minority groups, a sharing of their experiences, tactics, and wisdom could lead to new thinking and effective action in both regions.

Inside Look. Film Laborarory - Judgement in Hungary 1/4.
Posted: 30/November/2015

3 December 2015, 18:30
Judgment in Hungary

In 2008 and 2009, a group of Hungarian right-wing extremists committed a series of attacks on random members of the Roma community. Six people were killed, including a five-year-old, and another five were injured. The trial of the four suspects lasted two-and-a-half years, and the verdict was passed in August 2013. Director Eszter Hajdú filmed the trial and condensed it to create an oppressive Kammerspielfilm starring the cold-blooded suspects, an irritable judge and the victims’ families. Without any commentary, Hajdú recorded the drawn-out and sometimes chaotic trial from the cramped courtroom’s public gallery. A small static camera shows the judge's point of view, while close-ups highlight the emotions of the people touched by the crime. Sometimes we see the protagonists outside the courtroom, for example during the reconstruction at the crime scene. At the start of the trial, the victims and next of kin assume there will be justice, and they have faith that the Hungarian authorities will protect them. But will the extremists be found guilty? The widespread anti-Roma sentiment in Hungarian society, and the bungling (intentional or otherwise) on the part of the police give them reason to fear they will not. (IDFA)

Eszter Hajdú / 2013 / Hungary / 107 min / Blu-ray / Hungarian with English subtitles

Introduced and analyzed by film director Eszter Hajdú

Surveillance.Secret Police Film Festival 6/6
Posted: 26/November/2015

December 2, 2015. Wednesday 6.30 PM

GermanUnity@Balaton – Honeyland / NémetEgység @ Balatonnál – Mézföld (documentary film)
Home movies, interviews, photographs, and documents from East German and Hungarian secret police archives reconstruct the atmosphere of summers at Balaton in the late socialist period.
Péter Forgács, Hungary, 2011, Hungarian & German with English subtitles, 78 min

Introduction and follow up Q&A with Film Director Péter Forgács

Surveillance.Secret Police Film Festival 5/6
Posted: 20/November/2015

25 NOVEMBER 2015. 6.30 PM
Theme: The Stasi. What were they seeing while watching?

West-Berlin Filmed by a Stasi Movie Camera (training film)
This film is exclusively composed of images of important sights and streets in West-Berlin, filmed by Stasi employees’ Super8 mm camera. It perhaps was used to train DDR agents before their deployment in West Berlin.
DDR, German with English subtitles, 1970, 89 min, 5 min excerpt
Surveillance of the Border Zone at Berlin-Kreuzberg (operative film)
This film shows both East and West German civilians moving around in the border zone fence and checkpoint.
DDR, 1962, 11 min, 5 min excerpt (music added by OSA)
Surveillance of a West-German Citizen in Flemmingen in Nauburg (operative film)
As the microphones of the VHS cameras used for surveillance were not switched off, the comments and conversations between the two Stasi agents were accidentally recorded thus leaving a unique source of information about what the observers were thinking about their subjects.
DDR, German with English subtitles, 1989, 13 min, 5 min excerpt
I Love You All / Aus Liebe Zum Volk
Relieved of his duties and purpose with the closing of the Stasi in 1990, "Mr B." delivers an account of twenty years of his life within the organization, supported by never-before-seen Stasi archive footage.
dir. Eyal Sivan, Germany & France, German with English subtitles, 2004, 88min

Surveillance.Secret Police Film Festival 4/6
Posted: 13/November/2015

A Diplomat (propaganda film)
A cold war story about Colonel Roberto Cantilio, Italian Military Attaché who had been spying ever since he arrived to Hungary in 1959… Hungary, Hungarian with English subtitles, 1962, 8 min

Under the Mask of a Private Citizen / Pod maskou soukromnika (training film)
Combining real and fictional elements, the Communist propaganda film discredits the 1968 Czech emigration and charges them with spying and smuggling in to Czechoslovakia dangerous literature by "West-German students".
Czechoslovakia, 1978, 30 min, Czech and German language with English subtitles, dir. Tibor Podhorec
Source: Ustav Pamati Naroda in Bratislava (UPN), the National Memory Institute, Slovakia

Their Duty Is To Spy / Feladatuk a kémkedés (training film)
A short piece describing methods of counterintelligence propaganda.
Czechoslovakia, 1963, 12 min, in Hungarian with English subtitles, dir. Jaroslav Šikl
Source: Ustav Pamati Naroda in Bratislava (UPN), the National Memory Institute

Introduction and follow up Q&A with Peter Jašek (Historian, The Nation's Memory Institute – Bratislava) and András Mink (Historian, Open Society Archives)

OSA was renamed Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Posted: 12/November/2015
The Central European University (CEU)'s Open Society Archives (OSA) was renamed the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives in honor of the couple, who have provided a major bequest to sustain the institution. Their gift will create a permanent endowed fund, which will allow the Archives to expand its critical work in preserving one of the world's most valuable archival collections related to the Cold War, human rights movements and grave international human rights violations. The gift and renaming was celebrated at a dedication event held at the Archives on November 3, 2015.
Joint memorandum of OSA Archivum and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Posted: 11/November/2015
In November 2015, when RFE/RL and OSA signed a joint memorandum. According to the document signed in the presence of Donald Blinken (former US Ambassador in Budapest) and his wife, as well as John Shattuck (Rector of the Central European University), both RFE/RL and the Hoover Institution will transfer copies of their historical documents to OSA in order to digitize, process and – observing the privacy rights of those concerned – make them available for research. Digital technology will to unify the divided documentary heritage of the Radios. 
12th Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival
Posted: 09/November/2015

10-15 November, 2015, Budapest ///

55 films
35 premiers
25 countries
5 venues

F I L M S about
Surveillance states
Refugee experiences
Drone warriors
Left-wing radicals
Censored testimonies
Anti-globalist fighters
Totalitarian role-games
Archival treasures
Secret police confessions
Environmental activists
and much more

12th Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival presents
Posted: 05/November/2015


Gamma Bak & Steffen Reck / Germany / 2014 / 80 min / German

Paranoia, depression, avant-garde art, and love: a relationship across the Iron Curtain under a watchful eye of the Stasi, the German secret police.

OSA Announces its New Acquisition: the Vera and Donald Blinken Papers
Posted: 03/November/2015
This unique and engaging collection, donated by former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Donald Blinken and his wife Vera, spans 1989-2005 and will provide researchers with the opportunity to understand post-communist Hungary through various lenses. It is comprised of various materials, including correspondence, newspaper clippings and photographs. We see evidence of the Blinken’s political work through materials highlighting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its enlargement, Hungary’s post-Cold War economic growth and the country’s opening. We also have the opportunity to bear witness to glimmers of the ambassador and Vera Blinken’s personal lives in Hungary and in New York. Donald Blinken, a Harvard graduate and native New Yorker, developed an interest in and love for Hungary through his wife, Vera Blinken, a Hungarian refugee who escaped Central Europe after World War II.
Surveillance.Secret Police Film Festival 3/6
Posted: 29/October/2015

Secret police film selection from Poland.

Moving Subjects: Screening the Migration Crisis
Posted: 28/October/2015

Documentary Film Series curated by Oksana Sarkisova (OSA)

October 29, 2015 /// 6 pm /// CEU AUDITORIUM
(Admission is free of charge)

The Arrivals /// Les Arrivants
Patrice Chagnard & Claudine Bories
France /// 2009 /// 111 min /// in French with English subtitles


Visual Studies Platform (VSP) is a cross-disciplinary initiative designed to explore and propose innovative approaches to research and teaching visual imagery in the digital century.

Powered by CEU Humanities Initiative

Surveillance, Secret Police Film Festival
Posted: 15/October/2015

In connection with the exhibition Watching You, Watching Me, the Open Society Archives, in collaboration with the Goethe Institute in Budapest and secret police archives in Germany, Poland and Slovakia, is showcasing a retrospective film program inspired by the photos of the secret Stasi archives curated by Simon Menner.

Public lecture by Thomas A. Dine
Posted: 15/October/2015

Open Society Archives at Central European University presents a public lecture by Thomas A. Dine, Former President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Totalitarianism Still Prevails in Europe and Eurasia: The Relevance of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Today

Simon Menner Images from the Secret Stasi Archives
Posted: 12/October/2015

For the first time in Europe, beginning on Wednesday, October 14 at 6:00 pm, the public is invited to the exhibition Moving Walls 22 / Watching You, Watching Me that explores how photography can be both an instrument of surveillance and a tool to expose and challenge its negative impact.

The Chernobyl Archives of Nobel Prize winner in literature, Svetlana Alexievich
Posted: 09/October/2015
Svetlana Alexievich donated her Chernobyl archives to OSA in 1998. These 44 hours of videotaped interviews served as the basis for her novel translated into English and published under the title, The Voices of Chernobyl.
Hungarian Refugees in Austria in 1956
Posted: 03/September/2015
The largest wave of refugees in Europe’s  post-WWII history were the Hungarians fleeing the country after the crushing of the revolution and freedom fight in 1956.Európa második világháború utáni történek legnagyobb menekülthulláma az 1956-os magyar forradalom és szabadságharc leveréséhez kötődik. 
Kemény István hagyatéka az OSA Archivumban
Posted: 13/August/2015
2015 nyarán az OSA Archivum állományába került Kemény István irathagyatékának jelentős része, főképp az emigrációs években készült jegyzetek, följegyzések, kéziratok, valamint interjúk átiratai. Születésének 90. évfordulója alkalmából az OSA felkérte Elbert Mártát, a Fekete Doboz alapító főszerkesztőjét, hogy a Fekete Doboz archívuma és Kemény hagyatéka felhasználásával készítsen róla egy portréfilmet. A film rövidített, 7 perces változata 2015. augusztus 14-től látható az OSA honlapján.(
OSA is seeking a Program Director
Posted: 10/July/2015
The Open Society Archives is seeking a Program DirectorThe guardian and research center of one of the most important collections on Cold War and Human Rights is seeking a Director to initiate and implement its public programs. Salary is commensurate with the expected high level performance. 
Videó katalogizálás az OSA Archívumban
Posted: 03/July/2015
Az első magyar független filmes csapat, a Fekete Doboz 1988 és 1996 között készített videóin megörökítette a magyarországi rendszerváltás és az átmenet összes fontos eseményét. Ennek a kizárólag az OSA-ban hozzáférhető páratlan kortörténeti nyersanyagnak a feldolgozására keres az archívum segítséget.
 Videos on regime change in Hungary 1988-1996
Posted: 25/June/2015
Over three thousand hours of raw, unedited video footage was created by the independent media group Black Box Foundation in the years of the regime change and transition between 1988 and 1996. Black Box staff was methodically filming at the major events of the era including demonstrations, assembly meetings of future political parties and the mass protests against the construction of the Bős-Gabčíkovo–Nagymaros dams over the Danube. Unparalleled historical source available for research at OSA Archivum.Az első független magyar filmes csapat több mint 3000 órányi vágatlan videója a rendszerváltás és az átmenet éveiből. A Fekete Doboz munkatársai 1988-tól folyamatosan forgattak a kor jelentős politikai és kulturális eseményein, a demonstrációkon, a későbbi politikai pártok alakuló-ülésein és nem utolsó sorban Bős-Nagymarosi vízerőmű építése ellen szerveződött tömegtüntetéseken. Páratlan kortörténeti forrás szabadon kutatható az OSA Archívumban. 
Night of the Museums - Múzeumok éjszakája
Posted: 18/June/2015
Due to technical difficulties the OSA Archivum is unable to participate in the Night of the Museums program this year.Az OSA Archívum technikai okok miatt idén nem tud részt venni a Múzeumok Éjszakája rendezvénysorozaton.
The Night of Literature
Posted: 26/May/2015

OSA participates in the Night of Literature in 2015.

Initiative For Dialog About the Palace - Blitz Conference
Posted: 06/May/2015
The Initiative for Dialog about the Palace is holding a public professional forum at OSA, entitled Blitz Conference on the Future of the Royal Palace. Members of the Social Board of the National Hauszman Plan, government officials in charge, professionals, and interested intellectuals are invited to publicly discuss plans and ideas at this event.
Gyorskonferencia a Királyi Palota jövőjéről
Posted: 04/May/2015

„Gyorskonferencia a Királyi Palota jövőjéről” című nyilvános, szakmai fórum az OSA Archívumban.

History Restaged
Posted: 22/April/2015

History Restaged brings together artists whose practices address the need for critical thinking, and individual and collective responsibility. Employing strategies of staged reconstruction, reenactments, estrangement, humor and irony, the selected works use filmic, literary, archival and art historical references to revisit historically significant events and unsettle our conventional notions of reality.

Posted: 14/April/2015

A front row seat to a resistance movement: the Belarus Free Theatre masters the art of subversive performance between imprisonment and exile.

skype conference
Posted: 10/April/2015
On Thursday April 9, OSA and the Center for Media, Data and Society at CEU co-hosted the first Hungarian preview of Laura Poitras's Oscar-winning documentary, CitizenFour.