Big Brother Visits CEU


September 28, Budapest – On October 1-3 at CEU, students, faculty, and other CEU community members will be looking over their shoulders and wondering who might be watching. As part of the Living in Surveillance Societies (LiSS) research program (supported by the EU Framework Programme), CEU's Human RightS Initiative (HRSI), in conjunction with the Eotvos Karoly Policy Institute, will host a series of events that highlight how the monitoring of the lives of individuals and groups has become a ubiquitous feature of modern society. To access full program information visit

In addition to the presentations by international experts (including members of the CEU faculty), the three-day event will feature a keynote lecture called “Between Discipline and Control: Cinematic Engagements with Contemporary Transformations in the Surveillance Society” on Monday, Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. in the CEU auditorium that will address how the paradigm shift in surveillance is reflected in cinematography. Tuesday's program will feature a film screening with a panel discussion on the representations of surveillance in various visual genres. An interactive "surveillance environment" will be set up on the CEU campus with live demonstrations of "watching the watchers" via cameras and other communication technologies. Results of an art contest that asked students to visually represent surveillance will be announced after the final film screening and panel discussion, which will be moderated by Ivan Szekely, Counsellor of the Open Society Archives at CEU and associate professor at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.

LiSS is the first international multidisciplinary academic program designed to promote understanding of the consequences of enhanced surveillance and, subsequently, to make recommendations about its future governance and practice. The four-year program, which started in April 2009, involves over 100 researchers from 20 European countries, and is facilitating thematic collaborative research through a series of active working groups, workshops, seminars, annual conferences, publications, short-term scientific missions, and a doctoral school for young researchers in the field.

Each of the four major LiSS working groups will organize a public workshop during the life of the program. CEU was chosen as the location for the fourth working group from among several competing sites because of its academic excellence and the active involvement of the CEU community, especially the students.

For more information on LiSS, visit

Media contact:

Colleen Sharkey

Media Relations Manager, International

Central European University

Nador utca 15

1051 Budapest, Hungary

Tel. + 36 327-3000 extension 2321

Note to editors: The Human RightS Initiative (HRSI) is an awareness raising and capacity building organization based at CEU. It was founded in 1999 by the students of the CEU Legal Studies Human Rights Program. Since then it has grown into an internationally recognized human rights organization, focusing on youth involvement, education, and active student participation. HRSI's mission is to promote social engagement through awareness raising and capacity building. Its main target groups are CEU students and alumni, local and regional students, NGO staff and activists as well as local and regional NGOs. HRSI works with local and regional human rights organizations, as well as international organizations such as the Council of Europe.