Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Blinken OSA contributed to the temporary building of the new Vienna Campus of Central European University in the form of wall decorations or mini exhibitions. The purpose of the project is twofold; to improve the aesthetics of university spaces by providing intellectual and visual stimuli, and to enhance the Archives’s visibility in Vienna, with photos and informative descriptions related to our holdings. The mini exhibitions comprising more than 200 images now enrich areas of the CEU Library and Media Hub, the Department of Medieval Studies, the Department of History, the Records Management offices, and the Department of Legal Studies.
We are happy to announce that a longtime colleague Csaba Szilágyi—who was Acting Chief Archivist for some formative years—has been appointed as Chief Archivist at Blinken OSA. The Chief Archivist is responsible for the professional archival program, along with this new responsibility Csaba is the Head of the Human Rights Program. Csaba Szilágyi started working at Blinken OSA soon after its establishment in 1996.
While the forced relocation of CEU teaching activities to Vienna and the Covid-related restrictions have made research hard in the past two years, Blinken OSA is happy to be able to offer special tools to overcome difficulties.
“Visegrad Scholarship at OSA” presentations at 2.00 pm on Monday, March 21, 2022 Székelykapu, Turul Madár and Kopjafa: Reinvention of Turanism at the beginning of 1990s in Hungary by Tatyana Szafonova AND Across the Nylon Curtain: Transnational Cultural Exchanges between Italy and USSR. The role of Italian Cultural Actors in the diffusion of samizdat and tamizdat by Ilaria Sicari entitled
Exhibition opening and Litera award ceremony: March 16, 2022. Arany János u. 32, 1051 Budapest, Hungary Litera Award Ceremony: 5:00 pm Followed by the official exhibition opening The Litera portal and Blinken OSA issued a joint open call and a joint literary call by invitation in November 2021, titled My story of cowardice. At the Award Ceremony, the two winning short stories will be presented along with the awards and the juries’ comments. Exhibition Opening: 6:00 pm Curator: István Rév Opening messages by: Elena Zhemkova, Executive Director of International Memorial (the organization was liquidated in the Russian Federation on 28.02.2022), and Miklós Gáspár Tamás, philosopher
The Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives at Central European University welcomes the decision of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation into the situation in Ukraine.
The five-week project, an archival internship for 13 Erasmus Mundus students enrolled in the interuniversity program History in the Public Sphere, came to an end. It took place in the Archives and lasted from January 10 to February 11, 2022. The program was titled Fearless Speech and Its Fate in the Archives.
Twelve of the films screened at the 18th Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival will be available to watch online, on the festival website, from February 14 until March 27, thanks to Re:Verzió. The films can also be viewed at live screenings at the Apolló Cinema in Pécs, and at the Megálló Community Center in Szeged.
The 19th Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival will be held November 8–16, 2022, in art cinemas in Budapest and in cities across Hungary. Applicants can submit their documentary films until May 31, 2022. The films would fall into one of three categories: International, Student & Debut Film, or the Hungarian Competition, while addressing the latest human rights and social issues. Submissions can be entered free of charge.
Records Uncovered 2.0: LGBTQI+ histories in Central and Southeastern Europe – Exhibition This is the last week of the exhibition and the related programs, you can still register for the events!
Related Events - Records Uncovered 2.0: LGBTQI+ histories in Central and Southeastern Europe - Exhibition Attention: Visiting Blinken OSA is allowed only with a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate. When you arrive, wear a mask and keep your distance. Event registration is a must for visitors. Blinken OSA Archívum / Centrális Galéria Arany János u. 32, 1051 Budapest Tuesday–Sunday: 10:00 a.m.– 6:00 p.m.
Blinken OSA is happy to announce a new filter in the search function of the Archival Catalog, making it easier for researchers to monitor and assess the information regarding the availability of records.
Blinken OSA is happy to announce that three new archival series of the sub-fond Western Press Archives have recently been introduced to the online catalog, and are available for research in the Archives’s Research Room!
On the 25th anniversary of Ottilia Solt’s death (1944–1997) a square was named after her in District 2 of Budapest, not far from her former apartment on Komjádi Béla Street, as a result of a community decision-making process. The street name sign was unveiled on February 1, 2022, at a formerly unnamed public square, situated at the corner of Frankel Leó Street and Harcsa Street.
In 2022, the Háttér Society is organizing LGBT History Month for the tenth time. On the occasion of the milestone anniversary, we present, together with Blinken OSA, the exhibition Records Uncovered 2.0: LGBTQI+ histories in Central and Southeastern Europe. In connection with the theme, we will screen the documentary Out in East Berlin - Lesbians & Gays in the GDR, which will be introduced by one of the directors, Jochen Hick.
The Blinken OSA Archives and the Litera portal issued a joint open and restricted literary call in November 2021 titled The Story of My Cowardice. The call is posted on the website of Litera. The deadline for submissions is February 7, 2022, which is approaching fast, but we are happy to announce that quite a few short stories have been submitted already, which are available on the public Facebook Page titled The story of my cowardice.
On January 10, 2022, on the third anniversary of the death of Mihály Csákó, the John Wesley Theological College’s Pedlabor workshop organized a commemorative conference, where his former colleagues and friends remembered one of the founders of the Hungarian sociology of education, a renowned researcher of political sociology.
Records Uncovered 2.0: LGBTQI+ histories in Central and Southeastern Europe January 19 – February 20, 2022 On January 18, 2022, the exhibition Records Uncovered 2.0, organized by Blinken OSA and Háttér Archive and Library, has opened at the Galeria Centralis, presenting LGBTQI+ histories of Central and Southeastern Europe from the post-WWII period to the early 2000s. The exhibition will be accompanied by film screenings, roundtable discussions, and other related events.
History in Public Sphere (HIPS) Internship titled “Fearless Speech and Its Fate in the Archives” Is on
Blinken OSA, with the professors and the students of the Freeszfe Association, has launched a joint project titled fearless speech in the first semester of the 2021/22 academic year. The program series includes seminars and lectures, as well as a literary competition, an exhibition, film screenings, and theater performances. The program series continues with the History in Public Sphere (HIPS) internship course titled Fearless Speech and its fate in the archives. This internship is part of the HIPS initiative seeking to offer courses that “focuses on the ways the past is represented, contested, and negotiated in the public sphere, exploring various contexts from the early Modern period to the present in a comparative and transnational way.” HIPS is a CEU Erasmus Mundus program, students join the program from all over the world (e.g., from the Philippines, India, Latin America, and the US), providing the Archives an excellent opportunity for wider recognition. Thus, the Blinken OSA collections get problematized and researched at a global scale. According to Blinken OSA Research Fellow Ioana Macrea-Toma, “theoretical lectures and hands-on archival research work will help future public historians to further understand the logic and epistemic assumptions of Cold War data collections, and to translate issues having a Central and Eastern European relevance to larger global frameworks."
The faculty members of Blinken OSA have launched the Archives, Evidence and Human Rights (AEHR) course in the 2021/22 winter semester for CEU students for the 20th time. Offered continuously, the oldest element in the education portfolio of Blinken OSA was initiated in 2002 under the aegis of the Department of Legal Studies at CEU, but over the years many students from other departments joined as well. Since 2012, the course is announced at the Department of History as well, thus enriching the course’s workshops and discussions culturally and from the perspective of its disciplinary approach.
The program series fearless speech, a joint project of Blinken OSA and the professors and students of the Freeszfe Association, which was launched in the first semester of the 2021/2022 academic year, recently announced a call for proposals for Freeszfe members to create theater performances in the framework of the project.
Since the Archives took up the responsible task of reflecting on the current distortions in history teaching in Hungary with a very successful free accredited teachers’ training course, five years have passed. Soon after the expiry of the accreditation, there are plans to launch a new course in a different structure and with different content.
It is with great sadness that we learnt about Eva S. Balogh’s passing a few days ago. The announcement was made on Hungarian Spectrum, the blog Ms. Balogh dedicated to “reflections on politics, economics, and culture” in Hungary from June 2007 up until her sudden death on November 30, 2021. A highly important, erudite, and critical voice among the few daily sources of information about Hungary in English, Hungarian Spectrum had over 7,000 subscribers (as of November 2021), with numerous journalists, politicians, diplomats, and scholars among them.
Blinken OSA at the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies 2021 Annual Convention
The Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) Virtual Convention took place on December 1–3, featuring over 400 sessions. This is the most important annual event of the Association, usually held in the fall in a different North American city each year. The ASEEES annual convention is an international forum of experts allowing the broad exchange of ideas and information, a platform that stimulates further work and synergies of the field. Like in previous years, Blinken OSA colleagues participated in the Convention and presented papers, organized panels, and chaired discussions. The Convention provided a relevant professional platform for them to introduce the Blinken OSA archival holdings and its research potential.
On November 17–19, 2021, a workshop devoted to formerly hidden or inaccessible Jewish archival collections and documents took place at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI). Entitled Precarious Archives, Precarious Voices. Expanding Jewish Narratives from the Margins , the workshop informed on how the archival turn, the opening of archives in Eastern Europe, and the new digital availability of smaller archival collections contributed to reanalyzing old narratives, or examining narratives marginalized until now. The workshop sought to feature voices that have been unheard until now, and discuss new methodological lenses demanded by such recently discovered archival material on Jewish histories.
Call for Applications: CEU Budapest-OSUN Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships We are happy to announce that a new fellowship will provide an opportunity for doctoral students and junior scholars to spend time at Blinken OSA. The CEU Budapest-OSUN Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship provides an opportunity for up to eight doctoral students and six junior scholars within 7 years of their Ph.D. defense to spend time either at the CEU Democracy Institute (DI) or at the Archives. The future doctoral applicants need to be affiliated with an OSUN Institution when they apply, which is not the requirement with the post-doctoral scholars.
As the board of the Visegrad Fund is assessing the second round of the new applications for the successful 2021–2022 calls for the Visegrad Scholarship at OSA, let us highlight the work of the winners of the previous call. The Visegrad Scholarship at OSA was launched to invite researchers, scholars, artists, journalists to do research at Blinken OSA, covering their Budapest stay and travel. The theme of the scholarship varies from year to year, the latest call titled Possibilities of Knowing: Truth Seeking in a Polarized World and [in] Its Aftermath invites applicants from the fields of history, the arts, philosophy, and sociology, to reflect on the conditions of knowledge production during and after the Cold War. Successful applicants spend a period of eight weeks studying related documents, analyzing them, and at the end of their scholarship, they would all be required to give a short lecture with the end results of their research at the Archives.
An archives and museum preserving the memory of the political victims of the Soviet Union and especially of the Gulag, and at the same time a human rights group documenting and protesting human rights violations to this day, Memorial is facing false accusations.
The Verzió International Human Rights Film Festival ended last weekend with physical screenings in Budapest, Pécs, Debrecen, Kecskemét, Szeged, and Szombathely, as well as a countrywide online viewing, all in all attracting around 20,000 viewers. The festival is over, but the work continues; we are happy to share the good news that a new international network was launched and Verzió is among the founding partners. Verzió International Human Rights Film Festival (Budapest, Hungary), Fipadoc International Documentary Film Festival (Biarritz, France), and Biografilm festival (Bologna, Italy) are launching a new network, Places to B – Biarritz, Bologna, Budapest. The three festivals, all with female leadership, share an interest in contemporary European creative documentary films, and are committed to managing their activities transparently and to support each other in producing sustainable and diverse international film festival events.
Dear Researchers and Visitors, By the decision of the Management of the Blinken OSA Archives, our building will be closed till Thursday morning, November 18, 2021. due to Covid-19 related reasons Thank you for your understanding!