Issuu on Google+

the CEU Weekly An independent newspaper by CEU students and alumni

April 10, 2013, Year 3, Issue 32

The CEU Weekly Interview with the President and Rector of CEU, JOHN SHATTUCK In this exclusive interview with Rodrigo Avila B., the Rector answered questions about himself, his childhood and youth. The Rector recalled his early experiences as an exchange student in Damascus, Syria, and the lesson thought to him by his father during the crisis of civil liberties that the US experienced in the 1950s. From his policy maker experience and civil rights lawyer perspective, he recollected his involvement in the Balkans and his journey as international envoy to Bosnia. Also, John Shattuck discussed the US foreign policy, and reflected on the current tensions in the US domestic politics, acknowledging that “open society is facing a major contest around the world, including in the United States”. In the final part of the interview, the Rector talks about CEU as a laboratory for critical thinking and for the analysis and understanding of an open society. PAGES 2,3 & 4

HUNGARY NEWS Follow Up: What is New in the Sirály Story? The experiences of two CEU students. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CEU WEEKLY!

PAGE 5

PAGE 7

MEET THE CEU WEEKLY TEAM

PAGE 5

Why Did We Start The CEU Weekly?

PAGE 6

Everything is Fine

PAGE 6

Leading the Dead” – The World of János Major” An Exhibition by a CEU Alumnus PAGE 7

Student Tip # 75 Join The CEU Weekly's Anniversary Toast and celebrate with us with some drink and cake! (The event will take place on Thursday, April 11, between 6 pm and 7:30 pm in room 002 of Nádor 13.)

Hungarian Expression of the Week Phrase: Jó annak, aki szereti. Translation: Good for those, who like it. Meaning: this saying refers to things that the speaker really dislikes.

FREE LUNCH!!! PAGE 8


the CEU Weekly INTERVIEW

April 10, 2013, Year 3, Issue 32

The CEU Weekly Interview with the President and Rector of CEU, JOHN SHATTUCK John Shattuck, CEU‟s fourth President and Rector is an internationally recognized human rights lawyer who has occupied several distinguished positions. He started his career in the American Civil Liberties Union and was Vice President of Harvard University from 1984 until 1993, when he became Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (1993-98) under president Clinton. In this capacity, he was closely involved in restoring a democratic government in Haiti and played an active role in establishing an International Tribunal for Rwanda and the ex-Yugoslavia; he was also a key actor in the negotiations of the Dayton agreement that somehow brought peace to Bosnia. Later on he was appointed as US ambassador to the Czech Republic, and currently serves as fourth President and Rector of CEU. RODRIGO AVILA B: How does the John Shattuck of today resembles the John Shattuck that you imagined when you were a child? If you could live again, is there something that you would differently? JOHN SHATTUCK: Well, when I was a child I always imagined or hoped that I would get see the world. I imagined that the world was a really big place and until I was about sixteen I never traveled anywhere beyond about three or four hundred miles from my house. The world seemed out there but it wasn‟t something that I had yet discovered. And then, when I was a student, I was given the opportunity to become an exchange student, and the country in which I became an exchange student was Syria. Syria is in the news now; it‟s a tragedy what‟s happening in Syria, but one part of my high-school career was spent in Damascus. It was the first time I ever travelled away from my home. It was an amazing experience as you can imagine. I spoke pretty much only French when I was there. I didn‟t speak Arabic but I had to speak French, because the family I was living with spoke French. So I began to think, and this was in a period when JFK was the president of the United States, which is a long time ago of course, but he was really inspiring for young people like myself. So the Page 2

decision that I made at that time was that I Srebrenica, in the eastern part of Bosnia, wanted to really have a role in the world in had been taken over by Serb paramilitary some way, travelling and seeing it. and Bosnian-Serb forces, and the women and children had all been essentially lined Earlier, when I was even younger I was giv- up and taken into buses and send off to a en a lesson about the world by my father. refugee camp in a place called Tuzla. And My father was a lawyer and during the the men were left behind and no one knew time I was a very small boy there was a what really had happened to these men. crisis of civil liberties in the United States. People were accused of being communists I worked with the International Committee loosely. They were just charged this way for the Red Cross from Washington when I because there was a fear of communism was Assistant Secretary of State trying to during the Cold War. My father found that see whether they had any information a woman that was running for the board of about where these men were, and they had the school in our small town had been ac- some vague information that they were cused of being a communist with no evi- held in warehouses, and they were basicaldence whatsoever. So he got quite con- ly made prisoners. Yet there were a few cerned about that and started offering to stories that began to come out that maybe defend her in public settings. And pretty something much worse had happened. soon I‟ve found that he was being in some So as the Assistant Secretary for Human way accused of being a communist. He wasn‟t! He was a very conservative man in many ways, but deeply concerned about civil liberties. So I asked him: What‟s going on here? I was about eight years old. And he said: Look, people need to be treated fairly and we need to get to the bottom of the truth of every statement and fact that‟s been offered. And it had a very powerful impression on me. So these two experiences, one traveling as a high school student in Syria, and another being told by my father what human rights John Shattuck in Bosnia and civil liberties and truth were all about, really kind of gave me a sense of what I Rights I asked for the Secretary of State to wanted to be. approve a trip for me to take to the region and go to this refugee camp and start inR.A.: After this synthetic but inspiring terviewing refugees and see if they had introduction about yourself, let me go to any information about what happened with a topic that I have a particular interest for: the men that had been left behind. When I the Balkans. You were one of the key acgot there I got the names of several refutors on the ground in Bosnia, collecting gees to interview, who I was told might the information that provided evidence to have information. This was on the airport Madeleine Albright, the US Ambassador tarmac, it was a hot July day, there were to the UN, to raise awareness for the some firing still going on the hills around, so need of an international intervention in it was a very uncertain circumstance. I met order to stop the killings. Could you these people, several of whom who told me please recreate this journey for us? extraordinary stories, several men actually who told me that they had been with these J.S.: This was a terrible time in the middle men in Srebrenica, they had gone in these of the catastrophe in the Balkans, that we warehouses, they had been lined up with now look back at it and we call it the Balother men and they had been shot with kan Wars or the War in Bosnia, but it was what turned up to be 7000 others. a time when the worst genocide in Europe >>> since the Second World War had just oc>>> curred. But nobody knew quite what had happened at that stage. At town called


the CEU Weekly April 10, 2013, Year 3, Issue 32

INTERVIEW

>>> I was really the first person to have these in person interviews, and I recorded all the information and had it sent back by diplomatic cable to Washington and to New York, to the UN where Madeleine Albright was. This was really the first evidence of what it actually happened. As it turned out there were mass graves in the area and 7000 men had been shot. All unarmed Bosnian Muslims. This was really the most important piece of evidence of what had actually happened in the Town of Srebrenica. As a result, the decision was taken by the UN Security Council at the leadership of Ambassador Albright to authorize a NATO intervention to stop all this killing, an intervention largely by airpower at that time. From there on we went to Dayton peace accords which Richard Holbrooke, a larger than life diplomat who I had the pleasure working with, really led the effort to end the war, to end the killing. The war ended in November 1995, so about four months later. R.A.: Now I would like to ask you about what is currently happening there. You have spoken before about the forces of integration. Do you find the integration narrative to be still prominent? We know that Croatia will be joining the EU, but what do you foresee about the other republics in the region? J.S.: I think that there is still a great deal of frozen peace. There is peace, the warring parties have been separated, but I‟m afraid that the ethnic and religious divisions have remained. In my own view it was unfortunate that the people who were most responsible for these criminal acts were not arrested right away and taken out of the conflict area. Some of them ended up going into politics and it all ended up basically making this a frozen peace. I‟ve travelled recently in Bosnia, and today there are many people, young people, and heroic young people, some of them CEU graduates who are working very hard to bring peace to their countries and to enter politics. I think that the fact that Croatia is going into the EU is good. I think it is important that at some point soon Serbia and Bosnia also begin the process, and really get integrated into the EU, because I think that‟s where they belong.

R.A.: Now I would like to turn our discussion to US domestic politics. At a first glance the US politics seem to be today very polarized. Do you see any worrisome elements, or it is just a contemporary representation of the US pluralism?

good direction where more participation and more diversity is ultimately going to lead to new forms of open society, new forms of democratic governance. We are in a very transitional period of the world right now, but it is an exciting period. And CEU is J.S.: Well, that‟s a very good question. I intellectually and morally in the center of think open society is facing a major contest all of that. around the world, including in the United States. Certainly open and free speech is R.A.: There is a discussion going on an important element of Open Society but about banning the use of drones and tarso is democratic politics, that is to say the geted killings without due process on ability to solve problems peacefully in a American citizens. Given your civil rights regular political process. In many places lawyer perspective but also your policy that is more and more difficult, for a whole making experience, what could be a solulot of complicated reasons including the tion to this issue? proliferation of new media and instant communications, and the fact that political J.S.: This is one of the most important issues leaders have to react almost instantly to for international security and for US foreign everything that takes place. There are very policy. The use of drones and mechanized good developments in the sense that there warfare with little human intervention is is more participation, more engagement, probably inevitable, but it‟s disturbing and particularly through media elements, but I seductive because you can imagine as a think that given the economic crisis there is president you don‟t really want to deploy a lot of uncertainty and fear and insecurity, hundreds of thousands of troops. President and that sometimes leads to insularity. I Obama is in the process of disengaging think we see that here in Hungary, we see from Afghanistan and from Iraq. At the that in Central Europe, and to some extent I same time he makes use of these mechathink that the polarization of the politics in nized warfare machines. What is seductive the US relates to this larger phenomenon. about the drones is that you can operate them without the engagement of forces on I think that the election of Barack Obama the ground, and you can probably limit the and particularly the coalition that re- amount of civilian damage that‟s done in a elected him to office last year in 2012 is a setting where you‟re doing counter terrordemonstration that the United States is truly ism or where you‟re fighting a war. But, in a setting where they‟re completely unregulata pluralist and diverse society. We are on ed either by international law or domestic the verge of having a majority-minority law, I worry that we‟re entering into a society; the majority of people in the US world that is really going to be lawless. are otherwise to be considered minorities. And drones are certainly not going to be In some ways this mirrors CEU, so I would the sole purview of the United States. Other connect this with CEU. This is a very positive countries and even other shadowy forces of the world, including terrorists, might end up development, but also diversity scares peousing them. ple sometimes and makes them feel that their own kind is under some attack. Right My own view is that there needs to be a now I think that we have in the politics of high degree of regulation brought to bear the US a polarization which results from on mechanized warfare, and I am glad to some elements in the political system, par- see that there is now some debate beginticularly those who were labeled the Tea ning in the United States, including within Party or those who are against any kind of the Administration itself as well as in the government action for social benefits. These congress about requiring a much more groups are acting in part out of fear, and elaborate system of checks and balances out of their loss of status and standing in a against the use of these kinds of mechasociety that is becoming increasingly a ma- nisms. jority-minority. But I am optimistic; I think that the world is heading in a good direc- The final part of the interview, on Page 4 >>> tion, the United States are heading into a Page 3


the CEU Weekly INTERVIEW

April 10, 2013, Year 3, Issue 32

>>> There are some examples of regulation that have worked in the field of electronic surveillance, which has been a standard security tactic of all governments for a long time. United States, and I was involved in this when I was a lawyer for the Civil Liberties Union, enacted a statute in 1978 called the foreign intelligence surveillance act, and it required a court to oversee the intelligence wire taping that has been done by security agencies involving American citizens and requiring some kind of judicial warrant oversight, so it would not be simply the decision of a few bureaucrats or even the President alone. That‟s not a perfect solution either. The critics of that solution say that it‟s not really very effective oversight but the policymaker says that we should make sure that we develop systems that are workable, because if we try developing systems that are unworkable then it‟s likely that something else is going happen that could be even worse. This is a disturbing future part of the 21st century that we‟re looking at. And it‟s not just the United States, but it is this whole mechanized conflict and warfare that I see developing. Here as an international lawyer I am a very strong advocate of developing through the United Nations and through treaty mechanisms a much better system of regulating and limiting these mechanical devices. That‟s not going to be easy, but there have been other systems of international law that have been developed in the past and I think that we should be able to do this, and the fact that there is a debate now going on in the United States about this is a good sign. R.A.: Now let’s switch a bit our discussion to CEU. When we had the chance to interview Gerhard Casper, President Emeritus of Stanford University, and I asked him about the challenges in leading a University he replied as follows: “The University is not politics or the market place. It has to march to a different drummer. The search for knowledge must be carried out by critical analysis according to standards that themselves are subject to examination and reexamination. All this calls for a lot of “gardening” every day. Getting out the weeds when they are still small and thinking very hard about what new trees to plant. Gardening is the real challenge.” How does John Shattuck carry out this gardening?

Page 4

J.S.: I think that CEU is a remarkable laboratory for critical thinking, which is the most important element of an educated human being in the 21st century. We live in a world where there is so much information constantly flowing at us and we need to be able to analyze and navigate this world because otherwise we fall prey to propaganda and various kinds of misconceptions; misconceptions lead to conflict, conflict leads to war. Educating people at CEU to be critical thinkers, to understand what this diversity of information is about and be able to separate fact from fiction. There are facts in the world, everything is not relative. There is truth to what happened in a particular situation. We need to be able to understand how to get those facts, and beyond that we need to analyze them and to make judgments about them, These judgments need to be based on some fundamental principles, in our case principles of open society, democracy, tolerance, and an honest relationship with history so that we can come to grips with some of the terrible things that have happened in our own countries. All of that is part of the education that we need to have here. The mechanisms of how to do this, how to engage in a university that does a great deal of research, we need to engage in cross disciplinary analyses. There is no one field that is ever going to solve the problem of the war in Bosnia. You need to have historians, sociologists, political scientists, and gender studies and policy people, and all the other elements that we have here at our university. We need to make sure that we‟re promoting that we don‟t allow particular fields to become isolated. We also need to connect the theory of what we‟re studying with the practices of the real world. I think we are doing that more, certainly through our School of Public Policy. At the bottom it‟s all about the search for truth.

R.A.: Do you think that there is a conflict between promoting an open society and the pursuit of the truth? J.S.: In some superficial way there may well be. But I think what the university needs to do is understanding, analyzing, and getting at the roots of what are these values of open society, recognizing that they are under contest, and looking at other systems and challenging ideologies. We shouldn‟t be in a bubble; we should be open to all elements of truth. That is really what CEU should be about. R.A.: As you know, the CEU Weekly is a student and alumni initiative now in its third academic year of existence. The vision we have is that in 2031 the CEU Weekly will not only celebrate the 40th anniversary of the CEU, but also the 20th of its own existence. I would like to ask you if you could share a message for the students that will be running the newspaper in the years to come. J.S.: Well, I think that they have a big job, to understand all the various parts of this university: Who are the people out there? What are their lives like? What brought them here? What are they inspired by? What kinds of professors are teaching them? Where they‟re going with their lives? This newspaper is about the journey of CEU, and to have this journey captured by a newspaper run by the students is a tribute both to the students, to you Rodrigo who put this together and others who work with you, and to the university that you‟ve decided to write about. You bring it to life, and I think that‟s what the students in 2031 will have to think about. I think it‟s great! You can watch the full 30-minute interview with John Shattuck, on our You Tube channel

http://www.youtube.com/TheCEUWeekly


the CEU Weekly April 10, 2013, Year 3, Issue 32

CEU WEEKLY ANNIVERSARY

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CEU WEEKLY! It has been a year since I have joined the CEU Weekly team. Looking back at my work as a member of the Editorial Board and then as Editor in Chief, makes me feel proud of all the accomplishments of the newspaper in this academic year: the increase of the newspaper‟s popularity and circulation, the increase of visitors on our blog, and the support gained from the University. All these things helped us to consolidate the newspaper and to prepare it for the next academic year. These accomplishments would not have been possible without the efforts of my colleagues in the Editorial Board, and without the support and guidance of Rodrigo Avila B.

On this Thursday, April 11th, the CEU Weekly invites the CEU community to celebrate these accomplishments and its third anniversary. On this occasion we would like to thank our readers, colleagues, friends and donors, all of whom have inspired and made possible the existence of this newspaper. I am looking forward to seeing you all there! Florin Zubascu Editor in Chief The event will take place in at 6 PM, room 002, Nador 13

Cartoon by Eriksson

MEET THE CEU WEEKLY TEAM Justina Poskeviciute - As someone who has some experience in the field of journalism and simply enjoys writing, I was very glad to have discovered that CEU had its own student-run newspaper. For me personally, The CEU Weekly has provided a great platform for pieces of various topics: from international politics to CEU community to events in Budapest itself. When I think about it, it is absolutely incredible how diverse our content is: an interview with a prominent Hungarian politician can be in the same issue with a satirical piece on Valentine‟s Day while an article on the present conflict in Mali can be published right by a photo report on a dance party in Budapest. That is why I think The CEU Weekly is so important for our community: not only is it another outlet for our skills to develop, but also for our diversity to show. Also: no-one is as knowledgeable as we all are together, right? Olya Pushchak - The newspaper at CEU is like a sharing pot of opinions – always gives you a chance to say what you think, and filling this “pot” with content was always an interesting and prolific process. What I like the most about being a co-editor at CEU Weekly is a special feeling one might have every second week while turning pages of a super - fresh issue of a paper that had just arrived from the printer. And even if the issue wasn‟t ideal or had unnoticed typos, holding that paper in my hands always felt good. I‟m glad to be in this great team of creative and dedicated people.

Razi Zaheer Saidi - I am a pursuing the MBA program at the CEU Business School. I am originally from India but have worked and lived all over the globe in the last 14 years. Working at the CEU Weekly team was a great experience as every comes from a difference background and culture. The CEU Weekly team represents the very Ethos of the University, where students from all over the world come together to make a melting pot of sorts of Cultures, Experiences & Knowledge.

cles before to a youth camp‟s journal, however The CEU Weekly is my first experience in working in an editorial board. Through this work I am learning a lot and at the same time I am part of a community as well. Maryna Shevtsova - I always liked writing but it never went further than millions of posts in my personal blog. So, when I joined CEU community, I thought it might finally be a great opportunity to do something more serious and public than write for narrow circle of my friends. Except of great journalist experience, what you get at the CEU Weakly team is extremely warm and friendly environment, lot of interesting discussions, tons of inspiration – and then, sometimes we have great parties! I guess I enjoyed the most writing articles about student life at CEU and, of course, I was really pleased whenever I could write something related to Gender studies.

Julia Michalsky - Unfortunately, I have only managed to join the CEU Weekly team in the second semester. I enjoy writing about things that go along with my interests and do not necessarily deal with the topics I am dealing with during my classes. In my opinion, a student run newspaper is essential for any university to offer students a common place to express themselves Erik Kotlarik - The CEU Weekly and highlight the things that are important to embodies more than anything them. Personally, I want to write more about else the spirit of the Central student-led activities as well as places and European University. Each of its events outside of CEU to encourage our readers members comes not only from get involved in things other than their MA topics. different country, but also has a In addition, I hope to recruit a more diverse different background. Lawyer group of contributors for the CEU Weekly dur- works here with environmentalist, person from ing the next academic year. gender studies with historian. Not only cooperating together, overcoming obstacles together, Agnes Kelemen - I am studying but most importantly, creating something tangiJewish Studies and Nationalism ble. In the era where everything is dematerialStudies at CEU. Previously I grad- ized and ephemeral, each issue of the CEU uated in history. I joined The CEU Weekly is palpable and lasting. . Therefore I Weekly because I found it an am glad that my voice have become part of its exciting task to inform the interna- story. Although to be honest, all that work, all tional CEU community about what those meetings and extra deadlines were someis going on here in Hungary. I wrote some arti- times a real pain in the ass…

Page 5


the the CEU Weekly THE CEU WEEKLY ANNIVERSARY

April 10, 2013, Year 3, Issue 32

Why Did We Start The CEU Weekly? Because CEU had everything to have a newspaper: a vibrant community, a plurality of voices, the regular practice of debating and contrasting points of view, a critical mass always willing to engage in a respectful dialogue. CEU provided the ideal structure to have a regularly issued newspaper: the only component missing was agency, and it was in that context that in the academic year 2010-2011 this project started. And it started with seven people sitting on a table discussing the need of having a regularly issued newspaper within CEU. We were meeting every week discussing how should the newspaper be: printed or online, how often should it come out, how should we fund it, how should we name it, which sections should it have, who would be responsible for what. It took us two months to figure out some answers to these questions, and finally, on April 20 of 2011 we publish the first issue. We are doing this because we think is the right thing to do, but we are also doing this because of our interpretation of CEU: I think I speak on behalf of the team when I say that CEU is to us like a Republic, and founding and running this newspaper was and is our way of been virtuous citizens contributing to the deliberative democracy within the community to which we belong.

Everything is Fine

There is a short story in which a little boy has to answer the question „What do you want to become when you grow up‟ as a school assignment. His answer is simply the word „Happy‟. When the teachers tell him that he did not understand the assignment, he argues that the teacher does not understand life. To be honest, I always hated the story and I still think that it belongs to a MySpace profile of a mediocre teenager, rather than to the introduction part of any piece in any newspaper, especially the CEU Weekly and especially anything written by… well, me. The truth is that I started to relate to the little boy in the story. It begun back in Hungary, as a response to the question „What on earth do you want to do in Indonesia for Page 6

Rather than a personal project or initiative, we are trying to build a lasting institution. Our vision is that in 2031, The CEU Weekly will celebrate not only the 40th anniversary of the University, but also the 20th anniversary of its own being. This is a democratic project, not a job for money, and we have established in our constitution that no individual financial gain related to the editorial work is nor will be allowed. Free and respectful debate is our belief.

to receive an average of 10,000 visits per month. We have covered CEU activities from the Student Union to the CEU Sustainable Campus Initiative, the project CEU Cares for the Homeless, the Gala Dinner and the Spring Ball, the Vagina Monologues and the life in the dorm. We have interviewed personalities ranging from the President Emeritus of Stanford University or a Member of the European Parliament to a student in the Roma Access Program or Mihail, the Cloakroom Guy. Central European University is a great laboratory: it provides an ideal setting to practice an active citizenship. It is not only a place to gain a deeper conceptual and analytical understanding of the forces moving history, but also a place where the members of the community can exercise an active participation in the matters relevant to the community. I hope many more CEU members will continue to launch wellthought and lasting initiatives, and that their stories will be also reflected in this newspaper, which is nothing but a reflection of CEU‟s richness and diversity, a humble tribute to the greatness of this University.

Up to April 2013, in our third academic year of existence, the newspaper has produced 32 issues (all available at http://issuu.com/ ceuweekly), printed almost 11,000 copies, published content by students and alumni from over 40 countries, and established a network of alumni correspondents in places like Egypt, Gaza, Bosnia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. The web- Rodrigo Avila B. site (http://ceuweekly.blogspot.hu/) has started Founding Editor of The CEU Weekly

a whole year?‟, and it gradually became much more apparent when I had to face the „What on earth are you doing there?‟ questions. When I was first asked to write something about my stay in Indonesia, I had a lot of ideas. I am full of funny stories, stories that make you think, and unexpected fun facts about life and people in East Java. Maybe in the next issue I will write some of those things, and the next piece will have hats of Boyolali policemen in the title. But not this time. Why? I took my time (something I have a lot of here) and looked back on myself one year ago in the beginning of April. I was a wreck. Honestly, CEU got on my nerves: I spent most of my time in the library or home alone, full of panic and self -loathing. I could not deal with pressure – mostly imagined pressure. My social life dropped dead, I couldn‟t sleep well... and although my world did not revolve around CEU during the last twelve months, I know most of you will be able to relate to at least some of these symptoms. It sucks. Now, after spending seven months on various islands in the Indonesian archipelago, I am actively being happy. While learning the language, riding more than 15 000 kilometers on a motorcycle and making friends from around the world, I learned a great deal about how I should be living. It

is now clear to me that I had my priorities wrong: I should have enjoyed these experiences first, and gone to CEU after. But this is not the message that I want to tell you this time. I want to tell you that everything is fine, and is going to be fine. The world is full of wonderful people and they are right there around you – don‟t miss the opportunity to have the good times with them. It turns out that the teenagers on MySpace and the motivational chain emails were right after all (well, at least when you are looking at it from this little bubble that is heaven on earth Indonesia). Do I know what I want to be when I grow up? Hell yes! I want to remain exactly what I am right now – happy. Wow, this looks kind of pretentious. I think my old self would just start worrying about what people will think about him after reading this :) The author is participating in the Darmasiswa Indonesia program, writes a blog in Hungarian (indormation.wordpress.com), gave up drinking (kind of), and sometimes talks about himself in third person. Tamás György - CEU Alumnus and former Managing Editor at The CEU Weekly


the the CEU Weekly HUNGARY NEWS

April 10, 2013, Year 3, Issue 32

Follow Up: What is New in the Sirály Story? The experiences of two CEU students. As you might have read in the previous issue of The CEU Weekly, Sirály was evacuated following the discovery of a WWII Soviet grenade in Király utca, after a series of conflicts between the capital‟s mayor‟s office and Marom Cultural Association. The mayor‟s office let Marom work in Sirály until the 3rd of April, until the end of Passover, accepting the request of the Jewish Community. However, not even the last week of Marom‟s work in Sirály could pass in complete peace. On April 29, Easter Friday evening (and during Passover), while a drag-show was taking place in Sirály, 20-25 policemen invaded the club asking for identity documents from everyone inside. They did not answer questions regarding the aim of their action. Some CEU students were present as well. Diana and Chris kindly agreed to share their personal experiences from that evening with our readers. Diana Labiris remembers that “The show had wrapped up and there was a bit of a dance party on stage. I was just sitting in the audience. A man came on stage to announce that 10 police had arrived and that we could leave if we wanted or stay and get checked. He encouraged us to stay, to make the point that we were allowed to be there, but I was a little concerned because I didn’t have my documents. So my friends and I tried to leave, but the police had blocked the doors and were checking everyone’s IDs. It

An Exhibition by a CEU Alumnus On the occasion of The CEU Weekly‟s anniversary, I would like to introduce something that the CEU community can be proud of. The curator of a very interesting current exhibition of the city “Leading the Dead” – The World of János Major” is a CEU alumnus, Daniel Véri. He is an art historian, currently a PHD candidate, and graduated as a master of arts at CEU‟s History Department in 2010. János Major (1934–2008), graphic and conceptual artist, was a major figure of the Hungarian neo-avant-garde and a member of the so-called IPARTERV generation that emerged in the sixties. This exhibition is dedicated to one characteristic segment of his oeuvre: works connected to death and demise; the world of tombs and cemeteries. Major‟s works presented in the exhibition

was a bit of a tense wait—about 10 minutes or so—but they ended up just asking for my birthdate and letting me leave. The police were just like you normally find them on the street—quiet, stern. A little menacing, but probably just by virtue of how big they are. Didn’t seem to want any trouble. The audience was pretty confused and a little scared. Especially those of us who didn’t have our documents! We didn’t really know what they wanted with us so we were just a little concerned about what they might do. The performance wasn’t really disturbed, per se. But it was really disappointing that the night was cut short. It was pretty clear that the police wouldn’t have been there had it not been a drag show—it obviously had something to do with the politics of the thing. That was the most upsetting part for a lot of people.” And Chris Zivalich, who himself was one of the performers told us: “I went to Sirály to perform drag. The entire show went fabulously, though I was frustrated with the police disruption. The police officers themselves are not as much to blame as the political climate in which leftist activism is routinely monitored and disciplined. The audience as a whole might have been annoyed with having to stand outside, whip out ID cards, and adhere to ridiculous “security” measures, yet this did not stop us from enjoying ourselves. The party went on after the police invasion with as much energy, smeared make-up, drunk dancing, and unapologetiare organized along the lines of those specific traumatic events that influenced the artist‟s oeuvre deeply: the Holocaust (Major‟s father belonged to the victims), the revolution of 1956 during which the young artist was touched and artistically inspired by the vision of hanged men on the streets of Budapest. And a third trauma that gave inspiration to a series of Major‟s work during his life (although he did not witness it), the Tiszaeszlár blood libel of 1882, a major encounter for assimilationist Hungarian Jewry with Anti-Semitism. Thus, Major‟s art builds upon specifically East-CentralEuropean, Hungarian and Jewish experiences. Besides being a neo-avant-garde artist, Major was interested in documentation and also worked in projects dedicated to safeguarding medieval statues found in Buda in the early seventies (his drawings based on the remnants help the visitors to imagine

cally queer sass as ever before!” After the end of Passover, Marom Cultural Association ceased its activity in Sirály. István Tarlós, mayor of Budapest, and the leaders of Marom agreed that Marom would empty the club by April 30. Ádám Schönberger, president of Marom nonetheless reassured everybody that they will continue their cultural activity as soon as possible, although they have not yet found such an appropriate place as Sirály. It is clear that the mayor of Budapest – following the Hungarian government – is fighting hard to suffocate every youth club that can be suspected of giving space to leftist or nonconformist activism. However, in numerous youth clubs of Budapest there is civil resistance to such authoritarianism. István Tarlós succeeded in closing Tűzraktér last year; now Sirály is no longer rented by Marom. It is getting harder to find a place for activism outside the current political establishment, and associations like Marom are increasingly having to search for support from within the private sphere. Nevertheless, students and young intellectuals (not only leftists, but those who are simply open for reasoned dialogue) will undoubtedly go to new clubs as well to further discussion and debate. Agnes Kelemen With the contribution of Diana Labiris and Chris Zivalich the original state of the statues). He took plenty of photos in the Jewish cemeteries of Hungary, some of which are presented in the exhibition. They do not provide a simple documentation of the past, but – given their titles – sometimes an ironic interpretation as well. Nevertheless the value of János Major‟s art, and of the current exhibition, lies not merely in its artistic virtue, but in the fact that individuals like Major help us to understand Eastern Europe‟s history during Socialism – especially the history of the sixties and seventies – better and more deeply. Agnes Kelemen, Nationalism Studies With the contribution of Daniel Véri, alumnus, History Department The Exhibition is Open until 13 April 2013, at The Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Barcsay Hall, 1062 Budapest, Andrássy street 69–71. Page 7


he Weethe CEU Weekly

THE WEEKLY PUZZLE

April 10, 2013, Year 3, Issue 32

H L T D R I N K A G

H R T S N M E E N R

V C H H H R W C N N

R P W A N S S S I E

H R E R A S P A V Z

C E L E B R A T E M

Y S C P Y H P N R B

X E O P O N E E S W

O N M G S R R J A R

O T E U S Y N D R A

V O Y I C B N N Y X

Welcome to Train your brain! Here you have a new challenge – a Festive word-search. We hope you easily manage it! The task is to find the hidden words from the list below. The trick is that there is one extraword in this list. Find out which one and send it to us. celebrate, anniversary, newspaper, birthday present, welcome, share, drink

The person who will first send the correct answer on ceuweekly@ceu.hu will get a FREE LUNCH voucher at the Dzsem Cafe!!! The Weekly puzzle by Olya Pushchak

YOUR CORNER Want to get published? Send your article at ceuweekly@ceu.hu About the CEU Weekly This is a student-alumni initiative that seeks to provide CEU with a regularly issued newspaper. The CEU Weekly is a vehicle of expression for the diversity of perspectives and viewpoints that integrate CEU‟s open society: free and respectful public debate is our aim. We offer a place in which current events and student reflections can be voiced. Plurality, respect and freedom of speech are our guiding principles.

Editor in Chief: Florin Zubaşcu Managing Editor: Justina Poškevičiūtė Editorial Council: Ágnes Kelemen, Julia Michalsky, Olha Pushchak, Maryna Shevtsova, Rodrigo Avila B., Erik Kotlárik, Razi Zaheer, Thor Morante, Sergio Rejado Albaina, Alexander Minbaev. Proofreading: Imogen Bayley

ceuweekly.blogspot.com Page 8


Issue 32