Episode 11 of the Timezones podcast series, co-initiated and co-produced by Norient and the Goethe-Institut. Conceived in the wake of Hungary’s latest parliamentary elections in April 2022 which reinforced the Orbán government’s grip on power for an unknown number of years, this episode aims to delve into the city’s independent (i.e. non-government funded) arts and music scene.
While the title of this episode (DIY or Die), alluding to the DIY aesthetics and bricolage methods of the punk scene, might sound rather succinct and harsh, these are the conditions the Budapest cultural scene mostly operates in. The podcast opens with Gáspár Miklós Tamás whom I visited in his centrally located Budapest apartment where I, irony of ironies, apparently sat in a chair the Hungarian prime minister used to sit in back when his political orientation was «slightly» different.
We then move on to Gólya, a space that hosts live music, DJ sets and workshops as well as several NGOs and media outlets operating in an increasingly hostile environment. It is the epitome of this DIY, community-, and collectively run philosophy. For the Buharov brothers, freedom and independence are indispensable. They gained international recognition despite being largely shunned by local arts funding. Their films draw you into an opulent, often absurdist and surrealist world whose protagonists are largely sourced from the Buharov brothers’ colorful array of artistic friends from various corners of the city’s underground scene. Ivan, one of the Buharov brothers, is featured in this podcast.
Last but not least, there is of course humor, something that hasn’t evaporated despite all the doom and gloom. MAGA1-like red caps with the white inscription «Eastern European Accent» are frequently spotted at various Budapest events. They can be traced to the band Exotic Girlfriend, whose lead singer Andi Soós is also a curator. I also meet Gábor Kovács aka Új Bála in his Buda flat and we conduct our interview surrounded by boxes and empty walls. Gábor is moving to Brussels in search of a better life and to pursue his musical activities. Many people are talking about leaving, exhausted and fed up with waiting for systemic change. Then again: «You just have to go and do it, wherever you can», says visual artist Lilla Lőrinc.
A podcast by Lucia Udvardyová, sound design by Máté Elod Janky
Co-initiated and co-produced by Norient and the Goethe-Institut
Featuring: Gáspár Miklós Tamás, Marci Bíró, Nándor Hevesi aka Ivan Buharov, Andi Soós, Gábor Kovács aka Új Bála, and Lilla Lőrinc
Artistic Editor: Abhishek Matur
Project Management: Hannes Liechti
Video Trailer: Emma Nzioka
Jingle Voiceover: Nana Akosua Hanson
Jingle Mix: Daniel Jakob
Mastering: Adi Flück, Centraldubs
Artwork: Šejma Fere
→ Full transcript of episode 11
Air date: 29/09/2022 20:30 - 29/09/2022 21:07