Csalog25 – Remembering Zsolt Csalog

Zsolt Csalog - Source of the photo: Csalog monograph by Márton Soltész

Zsolt Csalog, writer, sociologist, sociographer, and member of the democratic opposition, died 25 years ago, on July 18, 1997, at the age of 62. The Roma Parliament – Roma Civil Rights Movement and Blinken OSA are joining his family to honor Zsolt Csalog’s work and legacy with a series of events entitled Csalog25.

Csalog25, to be held from October 11 to 14, 2022, will commemorate Zsolt Csalog—an autonomous, oppositional, libertarian writer, sociologist, ethnographer and civil rights activist—with theater, documentary film, contemporary literature, music, and collective “Csalog-relay” programs. Performers and guests include pianist Gábor Csalog, actors Andrea Fullajtár and Balázs Galkó, documentary filmmaker Juci Csík, civil rights activist Aladár Horváth, sociologist Gábor Havas, writer Márton Soltész, documentary filmmaker István Jávor and many others.

As part of Csalog25, the Világháló-Irodalom Alapítvány, Litera literary portal and Blinken OSA are launching a contemporary literature competition entitled DOKU’22.

Attendance at all four events is free, with places allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information, please visit: info@osaarchivum.org

All programs are in Hungarian.


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2022 5:00 p.m.
Location: Pinceszínház, 1093 Budapest, Török Pál utca 3.

I want silence!
Written by: Zsolt Csalog
Performed by Andrea Fullajtár

“When a writer writes, he usually relies on his imagination or builds on fragments of his personal memories. I have a poor memory and I don’t think much of my imagination: I prefer to work from a living model. I write ‘documentaries’, drawing portraits of existing, individual figures. This female figure, Etelka, who speaks up here—if I have done my job well—she is lifelike and very much like the homeless woman living among us, whom I met in Budapest and who told me stories and let me in on the drama of her life: this real ‘story’ was written by the two of us.
Why she, Etelka, opened up to me, I can only guess. She obviously wanted to escape from her maddening loneliness by sharing the story of her dead-end life with me. But why am I trying to tell Etelka’s story? I know the answer: I want to break through the cold wall that more and more excludes these people from our everyday civil life, the ever-increasing number of the victims of our common life who are vegetating around us. How much of their cruel fate is their ‘own fault’ and how much is the result of the shameful sins of the rest of us, the successful survivors, is perhaps the lesser question. The more important and urgent task is to expose their wounds and recruit help for them. It is the only honorable way to behave.” (Zsolt Csalog)

Creators: Viktor Nagy, director Gábor Zsámbéki

 Andrea Fullajtár talks about the difficulties of the role. I want silence! 

Zsolt Csalog. Performance by Márton Soltész
Lecture by Márton Soltész, literary scholar, archivist, and author of the monograph Zsolt Csalog (Argumentum Publishers, 215, 512 pp.).

Márton Soltész talks about the processing of the legacy at the book launch. Recommended starting time from 40'49"

The backbone of Zsolt Csalog’s legacy is a collection of his writings and research papers, manuscripts, and typescripts. After his death in 1997, this legacy passed to his widow, Eva Bognár, who died in 2015. The writer's documents were acquired by the National Széchényi Library in the early 2000s. Márton Soltész, a young researcher at the library, began processing the 75 boxes of documents in 2013. Since October 2014, the entire collection has been available for research in the Manuscript Repository of the OSZK, under Fond 445. Márton Soltész extended his doctoral research, which originally focused on the narratological and authorship issues of Zsolt Csalog’s writings, with a biographical study during the process of organizing his documents. 2015 saw the publication of a volume entitled Zsolt Csalog. More extensive than a monograph, it included his personal biography and a detailed archival list as well as a list of Csalog’s publications. It was published by Argumentum.

Following the lecture, Júlia Váradi will moderate a discussion with Andrea Fullajtár and Márton Soltész on the podium.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2022 6:00 p.m.
Location: Bura Károly Galéria, 1085 Budapest, Kőfaragó utca 5.

A selection of Csalog’s portraits, essays, and public samizdat related to the peasantry, the workers, and the Roma, collected by the curator, sociologist Gábor Havas, will be read aloud by his former colleagues, friends, admirers, and followers.

  Zsolt Csalog talks about the genesis of the 42 years old Lajos M.

With Gábor Csalog, pianist
The readings and pieces played by Gábor Csalog will alternate with and complement each other.
Program details coming soon.

Gábor Csalog György Ligeti: Gloomy Pigeon

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2022 6:00 p.m.
Venue: CEU Budapest / Central European University, Auditorium B, 1051 Budapest, Nádor utca 15.

Docu – Zsolt Csalog speaks. Film screening and a follow-up discussion

A documentary portrait of Hungarian sociologist and writer Zsolt Csalog. In this film enriched with archival photos and footage, Csalog talks about his family background, his Catholic upbringing, his friends, his loves, his writing career in the 1960s, his activities as an ethnographer, sociologist, opposition samizdat writer, the years he spent outside the mainstream, the majesty of the view from below, and his political and civil rights activities after the 1989–1990 regime change in Hungary

Director: István Jávor, portrait film, 1999, 105 min.

Zsolt Csalog talks about his meeting with István Kemény. Extract from the film Doku, directed by István Jávor, 1999

After the screening, Zsolt Zádori will moderate a discussion with the director and Csalog’s former colleagues. His guests include István Jávor, film director; Gábor Havas, sociologist and participant in the 1971 Kemény István Roma Research; Péter Szuhay, cultural anthropologist and former staff member of the Roma Collection of the Museum of Ethnography.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2022 6:00 p.m.

Venue: CEU Budapest / Central European University Lecture Hall 103, 1051 Budapest, Nádor utca 15.

DOKU’22 – Announcement of the results of the literary competition in memory of Zsolt Csalog
Reading of the winning and prize-winning entries. Host: Gabriella Nagy, Editor-in-Chief of Litera literary portal

The Világháló-Irodalom Alapítvány, in partnership with the Litera Literary Portal and Blinken OSA, have announced a competition in memory of Zsolt Csalog, writer and sociographer, who died 25 years ago.

Competitors were invited to submit short prose works consisting of a documentary portrait of a person in today's Hungarian society who has fallen on hard times. Not only has the economic crisis plunged hundreds of thousands of people into poverty in Hungary, but there is also a barely visible, silent and increasingly widespread layer of society that has been living in bleak conditions for decades. The competition aims to familiarize the reader with their lives and their fate, with the help of literature. The competition can be followed on Litera Doku’22, on Litera’s Facebook page, on the project page on Facebook and on its Instagram page.

Deadline for submissions: September 28, 2022.

Find out more about the competition here.

Zsolt Csalog at the "flying university". Miklós Szabó giving a lecture, 1984; Zsolt Csalog and Mihály Csákó, 1983

Photo by István Jávor

Attendance at the Csalog25 event is free. Find out more about how to register for the event on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information: info@osaarchivum.org
All programs are in Hungarian.

Bura Károly Galéria, 1085 Budapest, Kőfaragó utca 5.
Pinceszínház, 1093 Budapest, Török Pál utca 3.
CEU Budapest / Közép-európai Egyetem, Auditorium B, 1051 Budapest, Nádor utca 15.