Complying with CEU’s Covid-19 guidelines, Blinken OSA closed its Research Room and Gallery, and introduced remote teaching and working effective March 12, 2020, while decided to provide access to even more digital collections through its Research Cloud available to the entire CEU community.
In times of closed public spaces, including movie theaters, galleries, institutions of social memory or rave party locations, what can be better than to enjoy from the safe remoteness of your homes the vibrant alternative cultural life of Budapest in the 1990s, as avidly documented by one of the city’s great admirer, Rodolph Herve? Using mixed, experimental techniques involving photo, video, digital photography, raw documentary and electrographic, his recordings of concerts, performances, exhibits, alternative bars and pubs, as well as public spas reveal a flourishing, rough, but definitely lovebale capital city in quirky transition from a closed to a more open society.
Those in search for more immersive, contemplative content will certainly find the art documentaries and film portraits of Peter Forgacs produced exclusively of archival footage from amateur and home movies ever attractive. Whether about the decline of the Hungarian aristocracy and middle class, the dramatic participation of the Hungarian Second Army at the River Don and the exodus of Jews during WWII, or the particularities of post-1956 socialism under the ruling of Janos Kadar, Forgacs’ movies invite their viewers on an informed journey through the recent past, accompanied by original scores of the avant-garde composer Tibor Szemző.
We did not forget that this time can be usefully spent with doing remote research, too. Over 20 digital collections on the Cold War, democratic transitions, recent wars and humanitarian catastrophes, samizdat and underground culture from the holdings of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Black Box Foundation, WITNESS, Physicians for Human Rights, Tibor Philipp and the International Monitor Institute have been long ready for your inquiry and awaiting to be referenced in your online teaching, class presentations, seminar papers and theses.