Contemporary Artists and the Contested Past – National Histories, Imperial Memories

The concluding event of our seminar series National Histories, Imperial Memories: Representing the Past in Interwar Central Europe will take place at

18.00 CET on 14 December 2021

on Zoom, featuring the artists

Szabolcs KissPál (Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Budapest)

and

Martin Piaček (Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava)

in conversation with

Edit András (Central European University, Vienna)

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Memories of the Landscape and Its People – National Histories, Imperial Memories Session 5

Session 4 of our online seminar series National Histories, Imperial Memories: Representing the Past in Interwar Central Europe will take place at

 

18.00 CET on 30 November 2021

on Zoom, featuring papers by

Heidi Cook (Truman State University, Kirksville)

Bohdan Shumylovych (Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv and Center for Urban History, Lviv)

Nóra Veszprémi (Masaryk University, Brno – CRAACE)

Moderator: Julia Secklehner (Masaryk University, Brno – CRAACE)

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Ernő Jeges, Becko, detail

Nóra Veszprémi wins Rath Prize for article in Austrian History Yearbook

CRAACE research fellow Nóra Veszprémi has been awarded the R. John Rath Prize of the Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota for her article  ‘Whose Landscape Is It? Remapping Memory and History in Interwar Central Europe,’ published in Volume 51 of the Austrian History Yearbook.

The R. John Rath Prize, a cash award, is given annually for the best article published in the Austrian History Yearbook. It is funded by the estate of the longtime Habsburg scholar and founding editor of the AHY, R. John Rath (1910–2001), and by contributions in his memory.

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Artwork of the Month, August 2021: To Arms! To Arms! by Róbert Berény (1919)

In 2018 the Kassák Museum in Budapest staged Everything Is Ours!, an installation by artist Ádám Albert (*1975) that pondered on the visual propaganda of the 1919 Hungarian Soviet Republic. The small, meditative show was suddenly thrown into the limelight when it was ferociously denounced in the right-wing press for supposedly promoting Communist ideas and violence. The controversy is seen to have led to the resignation of the director of the Petőfi Museum of Literature (the mother institution of the Kassák Museum) not much later.

These events suggest that the Soviet Republic constitutes a highly sensitive and prominent memory site in Hungarian culture, but the ‘scandal’ was in fact something of a surprise. Although the short-lived 1919 Communist regime remains controversial, its memory is much less pivotal today than it was in the first seventy years after its collapse, when it was undoubtedly a cornerstone of political self-identification. In the interwar period, the right-wing Horthy regime held it up as the manifestation of all evil, while under state Socialism it was celebrated as a venerable antecedent. Today, by contrast, right-wing anti-communism has a more immediate counterconcept in the post-1948 regime, while for left-wingers the Soviet Republic’s excess and violence precludes it as an object of identification. Indeed, the most uncomfortable, and at the same time most intriguing aspect of the Soviet Republic is how progressive ideas and a genuine will to bring about positive change, which drew in some of the best – not necessarily Communist – minds of the time, coexisted with unrestrained brutality and diehard dogmatism. The latest study of the events emphasises their chaotic, sometimes accidental nature, and the widely varied ideologies, aims, desires and ambitions of the individuals who made them happen.[1]

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