Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Somewhere in Europe
Gaudiopolis was one of the many smaller communities in Hungary that set out to build a better world on the ruins of the previous one. The exhibition presents the history of Gaudiopolis along with similar initiatives that were most often born out of the courage, the perseverance and enthusiasm of private individuals (or smaller groups) who were driven by their beliefs in a just and equal society. The exhibition closes on October 30, 2017. As part of the finissage a guided tour will be held by the curator at 4:00 p.m.
On 24-25 September, a two-day workshop evoked the spirit of Gaudiopolis, the self-governing children’s republic, with the participation of children from Cseppkő Children’s Home and Fészek Waldorf School in Solymár - under the creative guidance of Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop, Budapest (AUW).
This year, Blinken OSA participated in the European Heritage Days, and its building, the Goldberger House (built in 1911) was open to the public.
This year, the Blinken OSA will participate in the European Heritage Days, and its building, the Goldberger House (built in 1911) will be open to the public. As the highlight of the visit, the archival repository will be open to visitors as well. During the two-day event there will be guided tours in Hungarian, on both days at 10:00 a.m. and at 4:00 p.m. (English tours will be organized on demand).
Also, our current exhibition, Afghanistan, Graveyard of Empires: The Soviet War exhibition closes this weekend. On Sunday at 6:00 p.m., as part of the finissage there will be a guided tour of the exhibition (in Hungarian, and in English on demand).
September 16-17, 2017
September 17, 2017, 6:00 p.m.
Curatorial tour by András Mink, Historian, Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
English language tour by Zammis Schein (Sándor Mesterházy), Private Collector
Galeria Centralis, Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
1051 Budapest, Arany János utca 32.
The Soviet intervention in Afghanistan unleashed the last major international armed struggle of the Cold War period. Retrospectively, it seems paradoxical since Afghanistan had never been a central area of the Cold War before this conflict broke out. The Soviet leadership was initially reluctant to intervene and indeed, it proved to be a fatal decision in every way. It brought a bloody war to Afghanistan with an appalling toll of human life and great suffering. The moral, political, financial and military strain also contributed to a great extent to the collapse of the Soviet empire. In addition, the Soviet intervention reduced the Afghan state to chaos, and the disastrous global consequences of this state failure are still unresolved.
Afghanistan, Graveyard of Empires: The Soviet War - Exhibition
VERNISSAGE: June 21, 2017, 6:00 p.m.
Opening Remarks by
András Mink, Historian, Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Zammis Schein (Sándor Mesterházy)
In cooperation with
Zammis Schein Collection
Afghan Center for Kabul University
Muzeum Shuravi, Yekaterinbur
Oriental Collection, Library of the Hungarian Academy of Science
Curated by Mihály Dobrovits, András Mink
Advisor: Zammis Schein
special thanks to
Shaharzad Akbar OSF-Kabul, Anthony Richter, OSF-New York, Julia Sakr-Tierney, OSF-New York
Galeria Centralis, Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
1051 Budapest, Arany János utca 32.
The exhibition is open between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. every day except Monday from June 22nd until September 17th, 2017. Free admission.
The Open Society Foundations and the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives cordially invite you to the roundtable discussion
The Soviet Invasion and Its Aftermath: The Afghan Tragedy
DATE / Tuesday / June 20, 2017
TIME / 5:00 p.m.
PLACE / Blinken OSA Archívum, 1051 Budapest Arany János u. 32/ Research Room
András Mink, Historian (Blinken OSA)
Anthony Richter, Regional Director (MENASWA)
Orzala Ashraf Nemat,Director (Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit); senior teaching fellow (the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London)
Rangina Hamidi, founder and president of Kandahar Treasure
Ghizaal Haress, assistant professor (the American University of Afghanistan)
Almaz Saifutdinov ,the Chairman of the Board of the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation in Tajikistan
War has devastated much of Afghanistan since the Soviet invasion in 1979. The Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives are opening an exhibit that depicts the war from multiple perspectives, from the story of the Afghan communist movement to the anti-Soviet rebellion. The exhibit ends with the regaining of state sovereignty but the beginning of an even bloodier civil war, international incursion and present-day conflagration with the National Unity government controlling only slightly more than half the national territory. To open the exhibit, the Archives and Open Society Foundations are hosting a roundtable discussion on June 20th at 5pm to put Afghanistan’s history of conflict in a more contemporary context. Three prominent Afghan educators and civil society leaders will reflect on the Soviet invasion from their personal experiences as refugees as well as its consequences for the future of Afghanistan. Additionally, a representative from Tajikistan will speak to the war’s regional repercussions, both past and present.
Orzala Ashraf Nemat is Director of Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit and a political ethnographer and a senior teaching fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. With more than 16 years of experience in development practice, research, programmatic review, and academia, Dr. Nemat is a dedicated Afghan scholar and leader. Her doctoral thesis on Development Studies from SOAS focused on the role of international interventions in changing local governance relations in post-2001 Afghanistan. She is the founder of Humanitarian Assistance for Women and Children of Afghanistan (1999), was a guest scholar at Cher Michelson Institute (CMI) in Norway, and has worked with several international organisations such as the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and ICCO (Netherlands). Dr. Nemat has served on the governing boards of various national and international development organisations in Afghanistan and is currently a trustee of Afghanaid (UK). Dr. Nemat’s work is globally recognised by Amnesty International’s Italian Section (2000), and she was a Yale World Fellow (2008) and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader (2009). Her work has been published on different aspects of Afghan women’s lives, and she is currently focusing on publishing chapters of her doctoral thesis in academic journals. Dr. Nemat occasionally writes Op Eds and blogs for The Guardian and Open Democracy, and is a frequent commentator on Afghanistan for the BBC World Service and Al Jazeera English news channels.
Rangina Hamidi, as the founder and president of Kandahar Treasure, the first women’s private social enterprise in Kandahar, Afghanistan, provides life changing economic opportunity for rural Afghan women, giving them a for profit platform for Kandahar’s unique embroidery work. Rangina is also most recently Principle of Al-Mizan private school in Kabul. As one of Kandahar’s leading voices for Afghan women, she has guided the development of groundbreaking networks for women, establishing pioneering women’s gatherings, social programs and activities for all women in Kandahar. Her work in Kandahar began when she returned to the country in 2003. She had escaped her native Afghanistan in 1981, at the age of four, during the Soviet occupation. Rangina moved first to Pakistan and then in 1988, settled in the United States with her family, receiving her education at the University of Virginia. Upon her return to Kandahar she served as manager of the Women’s Income Generation Project with Afghans for Civil Society, a grassroots organization dedicated to the social development of southern Afghanistan. Rangina has been internationally recognized for her work with women. She was selected as one of 18 finalists for the CNN 2007 Hero Award, and chosen as a “Personality of the Week” by Radio Free Europe in January 2008. She has been heard on numerous radio programs including NPR, the BBC and Voice of America and has been quoted in international publications including the TIMES Asia magazine, The Globe and Mail, Der Speigel, Business Week, The Guardian and Telegraph. She has served as a Council Member to US-Afghan Women’s Council since May 2015.
Ghizaal Haress is an assistant professor at the American University of Afghanistan, where she teaches constitutional law. Previously, she worked as the executive director for the Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program, a national priority program for the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development from 2009 to 2013. She was the executive director for the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan during the first presidential elections in 2004, and helped strengthen election observation organizations for the 2005 parliamentary elections. She has also had leading positons in Global Rights Afghanistan and the National Democratic Institute. She has over a decade of experience working in law and development on the ground in Afghanistan in the areas of human rights, governance, economic rights/empowerment, supporting legal professionals, women’s political participation, strengthening political parties and election monitoring. Prof. Haress holds an LLM from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, and an LLM from Kabul University.
Almaz Saifutdinov is the Chairman of the Board of the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation in Tajikistan. He joined OSIAF Tajikistan in 2012 as an expert of economic development program. Almaz works as the Economic/Commercial Advisor at the United States Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. He maintains high profile government, public and private sector contacts in Tajikistan, with whom he discusses complex economic and commercial issues. In 2012 Almaz founded Economic News Tajikistan Group - one of the most active Facebook groups in the country. With almost 10 thousand readers the group serves as the primary source of information, news, analytical reports and discussion platform in Tajikistan. Almaz previously worked as the Deputy Head of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development in Tajikistan, where he worked on establishment one of the first cell phone operators in Tajikistan, and worked in process of setting up the Pamir Energy public-private partnership, which provides hydroelectric power to most of Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region and to bordering regions of Afghanistan. He started his professional career in 1996, as the Deputy Chief and Small Scale privatization Project supported by USAID and the World Bank. He holds Master’s Degree in Development Administration from Western Michigan University, USA. He publishes (under a pen name) articles on economic, commercial issues.
June 14. 2017 6pm Blinken OSA Archivum
Salt for Svanetia / Dzim Svante / Sol’ Svanetii
Mikhail Kalatozov, USSR, 1930, 62 min, silent with Russian intertitles and English subtitles
Salt for Svanetia is a haunting portrait of a village in the remote, snowbound region of Caucasus, Svaneti. Celebrated for Mikhail Kalatozov’s masterful expressive camera work, the film instantly placed him alongside the great Soviet directors.
The screening is introduced by Dr. Oksana Sarkisova (Blinken OSA)
Free admission. Limited seats are available on a first come first served basis from 5.40 PM.
Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives / Research Room 1051 Budapest, Arany János utca 32.
Things Fall Apart
April 20 – June 4, 2017
Opening Remarks by
András Mink, Senior Research Fellow, Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Mark Nash, curator, film historian and filmmaker and Dr. Nadine Siegert, Deputy Director, Iwalewahaus, University of Bayreuth
The exhibition “Things Fall Apart” features artists, filmmakers and groups from across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Drawing on film, photography, propaganda, and public art, the exhibition presents interdisciplinary reflections on African connections to the Soviet Union and related countries.
Participating Artists: Burt Caesar, Filipa César, Onejoon Che, Ângela Ferreira, Yevgeniy Fiks, Isaac Julien, Alexander Markov, Jo Ractliffe, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Tshibumba Kanda-Matulu, Paulo Kapela, Milica Tomić, Tonel, Travelling Communiqué
Curated by Mark Nash
Research and Curatorial Assistant: Nadine Siegert
Project Manager: Will Strong (London), Nadine Siegert (Bayreuth), Paula Nascimento és / and João Rapazote (Lisszabon / Lisbon), Székely Katalin (Budapest)
Things Fall Apart is a cooperation between Calvert 22 Foundation, London; Iwalewahaus – Universität Bayreuth; EGEAC – Galerias Municipais and Africa.Cont, Lisbon; and the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives, Budapest.
Public talk and presentation of a new film by Alexander Markov
Introduced and moderated by Oksana Sarkisova
Found-footage Propaganda: Introduction to "Our Africa" Series
DATE: MAY 10, 2017, AT 6:00 P.M.
VENUE: BLINKEN OSA ARCHIVUM, ARANY JÁNOS UTCA 32.
1ST FLOOR, RESEARCH ROOM
Soviet documentaries of the 1960s responded to changing boundaries of ideological control during the so-called “Thaw” period. Many of the Soviet filmmakers worked and filmed in various “socialist-friendly” countries in Africa and their footage shows a genuine curiosity about the “otherness” of African reality. My film does not aim at duplicating the official propaganda discourse; my idea is to deepen the poignancy of Soviet newsreels and documentary films by exposing the propaganda clichés and by offering a new way of seeing them by exposing and highlighting their message. My review offers a fast-paced survey of the entire corpus of Soviet films about Africa in which I identify the most important and frequently recurring themes and motifs. In the process of this research, I trace how Soviet views of Africa evolved over three decades, and later sank into oblivion.