Press Room

OSA Research Room photo by Edit Blaumann
Posted: 30/September/2020
New Visegrad Grantees begin their research at Blinken OSA We are happy to announce that four new grantees of the Visegrad Scholarship at Blinken OSA, Zsuzsi Flohr, Ádám Farkas, Lucia Szemetová, and Péter Csunderlik have begun their research on-site, in the Research Room of Blinken OSA this September.
Posted: 27/September/2020
September 28 is the International Day for Universal Access to Information. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that not only information has to be accessible (with favorable conditions to institutional transparency, journalistic work, and information requests), but it is the responsibility of governments, to proactively contribute to guaranteeing accessibility, by sharing information. “
How to Do Research in Blinken OSA
Posted: 21/September/2020
Blinken OSA published a richly illustrated video guide to introduce its facilities to visitors who plan to do research in the Archives. The guide covers the building and the Research Room, and offers a journey through the website, including the online catalog and integrated search, the Digital Repository and Curated Collections, as well as the Audiovisual Collections and the Library. Text: Robert Parnica Sound: Liz Hardiman Visuals: József Gábor Bóné
Photo: Lenke Szilágyi
Posted: 20/September/2020
The exhibition POST-SOVIET – The Photos of Lenke Szilágyi 1990–2002 at Galeria Centralis closed on September 20. However, we are happy to announce that those who did not have a chance to come and visit the gallery space can access the online version of the exhibition. As a result of the pandemic situation, long before the show opened at Blinken OSA, our dedicated colleagues had prepared an online version of the exhibition for the 2020 Night of the Museums. Thanks to the online format, you can freely (re)visit Lenke Szilágyi’s journey and read her witty and genuine diary excerpts. About the exhibition: POST-SOVIET – Photos by Lenke Szilágyi 1990–2002
Budapest 100 - Blinken OSA
Posted: 17/September/2020

Since the launch of Budapest 100, a successful Budapest based urban festival, the Goldberger House, where Blinken OSA operates, has opened its gates to visitors. This year too, Blinken OSA participates in the program. The Goldberger House and the festival are strongly linked: the idea of Budapest 100, i.e. to celebrate 100-year-old buildings in Budapest, came up when the Goldberger House was 100 years old.

The first Budapest 100 festival in 2011 was organized by the Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre and Blinken OSA Archives with smashing success. Since then this fantastic urban and civil festival has grown and has helped genuine urban communities to take shape. This year the festival celebrates its 10th anniversary and the Goldberger House will open its gates to visitors again.

Visegrad Scholarship Results at Blinken OSA
Posted: 31/August/2020
Visegrad Scholarship at the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives   We invite 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. This reflection exposes the intellectual and professional practices (journalistic, sociological, artistic, political, archival) that both reflected and shaped the meaning and scope of the Cold War phenomenon. We are happy to announce that the evaluation of the last submitted Visegrad applications has finished and the final list of winners and reserves has been approved by the Council of Ambassadors in December. Visegrad Scholarship @ OSA – July 2020
(Photo: Dániel Végel)
Posted: 12/August/2020
We are happy to announce that the 2019 Annual Report of Blinken OSA is now available on our website. Similarly to the practice of previous years, the online publication is illustrated with photos and data, presenting a wide variety of activities performed at the Archives.
POST-SOVIET - The Photos of Lenke Szilágyi 1990–2002
Posted: 10/August/2020

For more than a decade, photographer Lenke Szilágyi (who has also been working as a photo-archivist in the Archives for a number of years) has regularly traveled to the (former) Soviet Union, witnessing and documenting the fall of Communism and Post-Soviet realities not only in large centers like Moscow or St. Petersburg but also in the provinces (the Black Sea coast, the Volga region, Karelia, etc.). Her photos are sensitive imprints of an era of constant change and territory of eternal immutability. She depicts in her portraits the hopes and despairs of the time, while also adding her own witty commentaries in the diary entries accompanying the photos. This exhibition is the first major presentation of this collection.

Interviews about the Regime Change
Posted: 24/July/2020
Interviews about the Regime Change: András Bozóki’s research materials at Blinken OSA. Blinken OSA acquired a new collection of almost 200 audio interviews made by András Bozóki and his team in 1997. The interviewees were all participants of the Hungarian regime change, many of them remain active politicians today. The interviews give a comprehensive overview of the history of the regime change, with a special emphasis on the National Round Table negotiations. Some of the audio materials were used in publications analyzing the events of the transition, such as the book titled Gördülő rendszerváltás [Rolling regime change], published in 2019. The digitization of the audio cassettes has started, copies of the recordings will be available for research in our Research Room.
(Photo: Dániel Végel)
Posted: 22/July/2020
The Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives (Blinken OSA) documents the forced relocation of CEU from its home in Budapest to Vienna. The accumulated material—photo and video—will be archived and made available for future research and reference. As the official archives of CEU, Blinken OSA regards its duty to do this service for the entire community.
The Research Room at Blinken OSA
Posted: 14/July/2020
We are glad to announce that the Research Room will reopen on July 16, with no summer break this August. For safety reasons, researchers are asked to book a time slot using the online sign-up sheet. The Research Room accepts a maximum of 5 researchers at a time. Although the Archives was closed to the public, archival work did not stop. Numerous collections and series processed or digitized since March will become available for the first time on July 16.
Visegrad Scholarship at the Open Society Archives
Posted: 10/July/2020
NEW CALL - VISEGRAD SCHOLARSHIPS! We are happy to announce the next call for the Visegrad Scholarships at OSA in 2020/21! Submission deadline: July 25, 2020 We invite 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. Scholars and artists are invited to analyze the documentary practices of different agencies and persons on both sides of the Iron Curtain and assess the truth value of related documents/ artifacts. Visegrad Scholarship at OSA For a better and deeper understanding of the interdependent recent history of (the center of) Europe, the International Visegrad Fund offers 15 research fellowship grants annually in the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives at Central European University, Budapest on a competitive basis to support scholars who wish to conduct research in the holdings of OSA, and whose current research projects are relevant to the holdings and the given research priorities of the Fund and OSA. For detailed information of the call, please check the official OSA website:…/fellowship/visegrad-scholarship
László Najmányi performing at the Galeria Centralis
Posted: 10/July/2020
Blinken OSA is honoring the legendary avant-garde artist and theremin musician László Najmányi. The exhibition titled Generation Z – Russian Pioneers of Sound Art and Musical Technology in 1910–1930 opened at the Archives on June 9, 2011. Two weeks later, on the Night of the Museums, László Najmányi gave a full-house theremin concert in the gallery space. A video recording of the performance is available at the Archives.
The last OSF books transferred to Oradea
Posted: 09/July/2020
When in 2018 the Open Society Foundations decided to move its Budapest offices and operations to Berlin, they left behind some 7.5 tons of publications that were sorted out and inventoried by the Archives. We managed to donate two-thirds of these books, journals, DVDs to institutions, libraries, and individuals. CEU students, visitors of our public programs and trainings, the audience of the Verzio Film Festival as well as the participants of other public and cultural events had the chance to get the valuable sources. The last transport comprising the reference collection of the Education Support Program took place on July 7 (belatedly due to the pandemic) to enrich the newly established library of the National Hungarian Educational Center (Országos Magyar Továbbképző Központ) in Oradea. As for the remaining 2.5 tons of publications not wanted by any institution: last year they were transported to Martinová, a small village in Slovakia, and recycled into heating briquettes by the villagers.
Anniversary - The Note
Posted: 06/July/2020


July 6, 1999. The young exhibition space of the Archives, the Galeria Centralis welcomed the media and visitors to a mysterious event. The minimalist invitation previously sent out stirred up the imagination of the public that began to speculate whether what the Archives had come up with this time.


“Through the coincidental coming together of historic events, those listening to the arguments in the legal protest in Parliament passed a slip of paper from hand to hand with news of János Kádár’s death.” MTV 1. News. July 6, 1989.

On July 6, 1999, at 9:16 a.m., the occasion of the tenth anniversary of a historic coincidence, Centralis Galeria would like to invite you to a recollection of the chance event (Nádor u. 11., Budapest).

The event lived up to the expectations of the invitees, as those present could be part of a historical reconstruction of the “coincidence” of the death of János Kádár, a significant political figure of the 20th century, and a court decision serving historical justice.

For further details, see our virtual exhibition recalling the event.

Blinken OSA – Night of the Museums, June 27, 2020 – Online
Posted: 16/June/2020

Blinken OSA – Night of the Museums, June 27, 2020 – Online

This unprecedented Night of the Museums will be online, Blinken OSA offers a rich variety of cultural and artistic programs. There will be an interesting report about Hungarian museums, archives, and libraries titled The Laborers of Culture. Data on the Situation of Public Collections. It will be available online all through the night. What follows will be an interesting house tour by Iván Székely around the Goldberger House. After the tour, our colleague Örs Lehel Tari will give an interesting presentation on 1989 regime change.

One of the highlights of the program will be the online discussion between art historian József Mélyi and editor-reporter Júlia Ránki. The special edition of this conversation will focus, among other things, on the Night of the Museums, on the museum development project Liget, on new decrees and laws, and, above all, on COVID-19 and the museums. The discussion will be followed by an online public lecture by András Mink, historian, titled Where Did the Democratic Opposition Disappear?. There are no Nighs of the Museums without exhibition at Blinken OSA, so this year the exhibition titled POST-SOVIET – The Photos of Lenke Szilágyi 1990–2002 Virtual exhibition will be opened by Endre Kukorelly.

The exhibition opening will be followed by a film screening, and the online mode will give the chance to "repeat" some program elements for those who cannot speak Hungarian.

Roma Media School
Posted: 15/June/2020
Despite the lockdown, our lives as archivists went on at Blinken OSA. Colleagues at the Audio-Visual Department have completed the processing of the Roma Media School (Roma Média Iskola) video collection. Another unique collection has become available for researchers!
Remembering and Honoring Claire de Héderváry
Posted: 10/June/2020
In 1998, a special visitor arrived at the Archives to discuss the donation of her document collection. Her original plan was to donate it to the recently established Open Society Archives, but after much discussion, it was decided that due to the national importance of the documents, the Archives would help the acquisition financially, but the collection should become part of the National Széchényi Library’s Manuscript Department.
Faith – Trust – Secrecy (photo: Andrea Bényi)
Posted: 29/May/2020
The Galeria Centralis is temporarily closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, however, our current exhibition, entitled Faith – Trust – Secrecy, is now available online. Through 360° interior photos, scanned archival documents, and explanatory texts, visitors can explore the complex interactions of the secret police with religious groups and those seeking to research them.
Nyomtass Te is!, receiving 3rd prize of the SocialMarie 2020
Posted: 08/May/2020
The recipients of the significant prize for social innovation were for the first time announced in a virtual award ceremony. Two Hungarian projects close to Blinken OSA are among the winners!
Blinken OSA on global map of accessible archives
Posted: 08/May/2020
A digital map developed by the International Council of Archives promotes a global network of accessible archives – including Blinken OSA.
Closed Research Room on April 3 (Photo: Csaba Szilágyi)
Posted: 03/April/2020
For the first time in the history of Blinken OSA, the staff has been working from home for two weeks now, away from the physical holdings. What professional aid can an archive offer to its researchers and visitors online?
Béla Király in Kaposvár (Photo: Károly Makai)
Posted: 19/March/2020
New content on Will There be a 1989?, the website Blinken OSA launched to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the regime change in Hungary! We have uploaded press photos taken outside the capital, which had not been published online before!
Reading in the quarantine
Posted: 10/March/2020
In order to help to spend idle time in the quarantine in a useful way, we suggest reading Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year, chronicling the dramatic events of the 1665 year Great Plague in London. The novel – although ever since its publication in 1722, the status and genre of the book has been debated, whether it should be read as a novel, a documentary or a memoir – published under the initials, H.F., probably referring to Defoe’s uncle, provides a highly readable, surprisingly and unbelievably relevant description of life under extreme emergency. The reader today would be slightly ashamed discovering his present-day concerns and reactions to the wildly spreading epidemic. Reading Defoe’s documentary novel provides the experience of looking into an old mirror and being suddenly confronted with our own obscure image. The book could be downloaded from this site:    
Bifocal freedom
Posted: 05/March/2020

Parallel film screenings of András Szirtes film director and Dalia Neis (VSP fellow)

Birds (8 mins.)  - András Szirtes                             Goray 1648 (7 mins.)- Dalia Neis
Gravitation(21 mins.) - András Szirtes                     Saints (5 mins.) - Dalia Neis
Diary no. 10 (25 mins.) - András Szirtes                  Missing Meilich (21 mins) - Dalia Neis

Time: Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
Location: Blinken OSA Archives, 1051 Budapest, Arany János u. 32.

This film program forges a rare intergenerational dialogue between two artist-filmmakers who work with the essay form as a means to subvert and reimagine the archive, its relationship to history and memory.

Religion on trial? Film and religion during Communism
Posted: 02/March/2020

March 4, 2020, 6pm


Religion on trial? Film and religion during Communism


This film screening event presents Communist-era representations of religion of trial. We contrast a Khrushchev-era anti-religious propaganda film from the Soviet Union with a Hungarian film that employs an ethnographic eye on its object of derision. The screenings will be followed by a discussion with the curators and researchers of the Hidden Galleries project, James Kapaló and Kinga Povedák who will present their own research and that of Hidden Galleries collaborator Tatiana Vagramenko.

Re:Verzió 2020 - The Euphoria of Being
Posted: 02/March/2020

Free screenings between February 20 and May 28 of the most successful films from the 16th Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival. Eight films will be shown—including the winners and audience favorites—followed by discussions with the filmmakers, experts, journalists, and human rights activists.

The second film of the Re:Verzió series is the winner of the Hungarian Audience Award of the 16th Verzió Film Festival:

March 5, 2020, 6 p.m.

Director: Réka Szabó
Hungary, 2019, 83 min, Hungarian with English subtitles

Faith – Trust – Secrecy
Posted: 19/February/2020

Religion through the lenses of the secret police

This exhibition is about the ways in which Communist totalitarian states through secret police operations “captured” religion in images, graphics, texts, and folders in order to control and eliminate those they deemed untrustworthy.

Re:Verzió 2020
Posted: 15/February/2020

Free screenings between February 20 and May 28 of the most successful films from the 16th Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival.

The traditional Spring film club of Verzió will bring you once more some of the most beloved films from the program of the latest festival edition. 8 films will be shown - including the winners and audience favorites - followed by discussions with the filmmakers, local experts, journalists, and human rights activists.

Venues: Blinken OSA Archive & Central European University

Nataša Kandić (Tanjug/Zoran Žestić)
Posted: 14/February/2020
Blinken OSA condemns both the suppression or denial of facts on crimes against humanity, as well as physical violence. As an archive preserving significant collections on crimes against humanity, the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, and the consequences of the Yugoslav war, OSA has a long professional relationship with Nataša Kandić and the Humanitarian Law Center. We express our support and sympathy for the attacked human rights defenders.