Press Room - 2017

Poverty Revisited conference videos available online
Posted: 19/July/2017
All the presentations and panel discussions of the September 2016 OSA conference “Poverty Revisited”, organized on the occasion of making the documentary heritage of outstanding sociologist István Kemény publicly accessible, are now available online here. The 28 short films (in Hungarian) also include the illustrations and background materials of the presentations and discussions.
Library migration promo
Posted: 28/June/2017
Blinken OSA library records have been integrated into CEU Library Catalog.In a joint initiative with CEU Library to better serve the CEU community and the broader public, the records of Blinken OSA’s extensive collection of periodicals, films, and reference books related to the Cold War, Communism, international human rights and the archival profession are now available through the CEU Library catalog.Magazines, journals, daily newspapers and small-circulation regional publications, running to more than 6,400 titles, document life "behind the Iron Curtain" and the history of Communism in the Central and East-European region.The film collection includes over 4,000 titles, in almost 100 languages, with an exceptionally broad range of documentary, propaganda and fiction films as well as submissions to the Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival.Library and Film library materials of Blinken OSA can be requested as usual at the Blinken OSA Research Room in Goldberger House.
Call For Papers for the Blinken OSA Symposium
Posted: 26/June/2017
Spectrum of Communism | A kommunizmus kísérleteNovember 16-17, 2017Commemorating the centennial of the Bolshevik revolution within the framework of the 2-year WHAT’S LEFT? program series, Blinken OSA invites historians, social scientists, artists and a broad community to take part in the forthcoming 2-day symposium SPECTRUM OF COMMUNISM, which addresses artistic and intellectual legacy of 1917 and dynamics of left-wing political thought and artistic practice in a transnational context. The prospective participants are invited to apply directly to one of the following sections, outlining how their presentation fits within a broader range of questions. Selected participants are expected to hold 20 minutes presentations and take part in general discussion on the set of questions addressed by their section. The symposium will take place at The Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives (OSA) at Central European University (CEU) which is a repository of important collections related to the history of the Cold War and grave international human rights violations, and a laboratory of archival experiments on new ways of assessing, contextualizing, presenting, and making use of archival documents. The symposium will be accompanied by film screenings within the framework of 14th Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival.Application deadline: July 30, 2017. No registration fee.Program Committee at Blinken OSA, CEU:András MinkOksana Sarkisova Ivan Székely Katalin Székely Csaba Szilágyi Katalin GádorosNora UngárIn cooperation with Péter Apor (Institute of History of Hungarian Academy of Science) and Dan Cirjan (CEU, Department of History)To apply, please send a brief (max 500 words) paper abstract and CV by July 30, 2017 to with the subject 2017SYMPOSIUM followed by the title of the section.
Hungarian Government Threatens to Shut Down Central European University
Posted: 25/June/2017
On April 10, 2017, President of the Republic of Hungary Janos Ader signed into law amendments to Hungary’s national higher education legislation which restrict academic freedom for CEU and other international universities operating in Hungary.
Blinken OSA Archivum  - Night of the Museums 2017 Program
Posted: 20/June/2017
Blinken OSA Archivum  - Night of the Museums 2017 Program  16.00- 24.00 Exhibition in Galeria Centralis: Afghanistan, Graveyard of Empires: The Soviet WarThe 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 it proved to be, indeed, a fatal decision in every way. It brought a bloody war on Afghanistan with an appalling toll of human life and great suffering. Its moral, political, financial and military strain also contributed to a great extent to the collapse of the Soviet empire. In addition, the Soviet intervention pushed the Afghan state into chaos, and the disastrous global consequences of this state failure are still unresolved. For those visitors to the exhibition who are willing to participate in a quiz, the Fruccola café, which will be open all night, will offer a taste of genuine Afghan food.17:00/19:00.   Guided tour of the exhibition by the curator16:00-24:00  Tours of the building: Exhibition hall and archive in a museum space. The industrial monument that is the Goldberger building is opened up to public view once a year. The basement of the building holds records of the fieldwork that underpinned Radio Free Europe's broadcasts during the Cold War, as well as the collection of Human Rights documents. The tours are in every two hours. Music:  21:00  DJ Sztyepp 
 The Soviet Invasion and Its Aftermath: The Afghan Tragedy
Posted: 19/June/2017

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.

Chronology of Blinken OSA's History Launched
Posted: 13/June/2017
Over more than two decades of its existence the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives has grown to be not only one of the largest international archives of Communism and the Cold War but also an internationally recognized research center and an important player in the cultural life of Budapest. This timeline recalls the milestones of the activity of the Archives, highlighting its organic relationship with the Central European University.
 Shooting the Revolution Film Series at Blinken OSA: Salt for Svanetia
Posted: 13/June/2017

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.

Columbia University and West Point Students’ Research Week at Blinken OSA
Posted: 09/June/2017
A practice which began in the previous year continued in 2017 when a group of seven students from Columbia University and two from West Point Military Academy, led by their professor Ms. Victoria Phillips, visited OSA for a whole week. They conducted research and devoted themselves to writing their papers and presentations for the 8th Annual International Student Conference of the Cold War History Research Center at Corvinus University, which was co-organized by CEU’s History Department and the European Institute at Columbia University.
The János Vargha Collection in the Blinken Open Society Archives!
Posted: 06/June/2017
Blinken OSA has acquired the document collection of the founder of the Danube Circle. The aim of the environmental movement, which was founded in 1984, was to stop the planned barrage system on the Danube between Gabčíkovo and Nagymaros. Their work was founded on solid scientific research to support their arguments against the investment and community organization, for which the organization was awarded with the alternative Nobel Prize.
Map of Mass Grave Exhumations in Bosnia and Herzegovina Published
Posted: 25/May/2017
Based on a collection of 137 forensic reports produced by the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) during its Forensic Assistance Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1997-1999, Blinken OSA published a map of individual and mass grave exhumations at over 500 sites and sub-sites across the country.
Red Africa: Things Fall Apart
Posted: 23/May/2017


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.

Digital Cold War Collection of Encrypted Telex Messages
Posted: 12/May/2017
Digital Cold War Collection of Encrypted Telex Messages between the Free Europe Committee and Radio Free Europe were enriched with new materials.Blinken OSA uploaded over 11,000 encrypted telex messages between the Free Europe Committee in New York and Radio Free Europe in Munich, covering the period from 1967 to 1974. In addition to the more than 23,000 messages (from 1960 to 1966) that were already freely accessible, this new set of messages will considerably enrich an important Cold War collection. Originally, the collection came from the Hoover Institution Library and Archive, where it had been stored since the early 1990s. It arrived in OSA in 2014, on a total of 101 microfilm reels which were all digitized recently by Blinken OSA.
Public talk and presentation of a new film by Alexander Marko
Posted: 10/May/2017

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.


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.



Visegrad Scholarship at Blinken OSA Continues
Posted: 09/May/2017
The International Visegrad Fund extended its Visegrad Scholarship at Blinken OSA for AY 2017/18
OSA and OHR Amend Agreement on Public Digital Archive
Posted: 05/May/2017
On May 2, 2017, Central European University President and Rector Michael Ignatieff and High Representative Valentin Inzko signed an Addendum to the Public Archive Agreement between CEU and the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Sarajevo, the ad hoc international institution responsible for overseeing the implementation of civilian aspects of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords.
Shooting the Revolution Film Series at OSA – Animated Soviet Propaganda 2
Posted: 25/April/2017

Shooting the Revolution Film Series at OSA – Animated Soviet Propaganda 2

Wednesday, 3 May 2017 at 6 PM


Samizdat Project - Call for interns
Posted: 06/April/2017
OSA invite applications for 1-3 months unpaid internship positions, May-July 2017. The intern will be working at OSA (Arany János u. 32, 1051, Budapest, Hungary). Working hours are flexible. OSA is a part of the Central European University.
Oksana Sarkisova: Screening Soviet Nationalities: Kulturfilms from the Far North
Posted: 24/March/2017

Book Launch - Oksana Sarkisova: Screening Soviet Nationalities: Kulturfilms from the Far North to Central Asia

Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 5:30pm

The Blinken Open Society Archives and the Visual Studies Platform at CEU cordially invite you to the book launch and discussion of:

Screening Soviet Nationalities: Kulturfilms from the Far North to Central Asia by Oksana Sarkisova


Mária M. Kovács (Nationalism Studies Program, CEU) / Chair

Mark Bassin (School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, Södertörns University)

Alfred Rieber (Professor Emeritus, History Department, CEU)

Oksana Sarkisova (Blinken OSA Archivum, CEU)

Charles Shaw (History Department, CEU)

Marsha Siefert (Department of History, CEU)

Photofilm -  New Ways of Thinking Film by Gustav Hamos
Posted: 20/March/2017

Photofilm | New Ways of Thinking Film by Gustav Hamos

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 5:30pm

Photographs placed in a cinematic context create a filmic experience. In photofilms, the film medium is dissected into its components. Photofilm authors experiment with the relationship of text, sound and image, reflecting on the composition of the cinematographic. They let us “think” cinema. If a film image stops, the illusion of movement is shattered in that moment and irritation arises, we are invited to contemplate, interpret the image as a concept, participate in the author's study of images, and to be inspired by the imaginary extensions of meaning. Photofilms demand active, thinking viewers. Having photographs placed next to each other in a sequence provokes the viewer to search for connections and interpretations. Inspired by Roland Barthes' “The Third Meaning” it may be said that the future of the filmic is not strictly in movement, but rather in a third meaning, a framework for the unfolding of permutations that make a new theory of the photogram conceivable. ///

The Road - Re Verzio Film Series
Posted: 20/March/2017

A 'food for thought' selection from the 13th Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival's repertoire.

March 23, 6p.m.


Zhang Zanbo / 2015 / China & Denmark / 95 min / Chinese / English subtitles

The film was screened in the International Panorama section at 13th Verzio Film Festival.

The film was screened in the International Panorama section at 13th Verzio Film Festival.

In 2008, the Chinese government decided to invest 586 billion USD on infrastructure in an effort to stimulate the economy. Filmmaker Zhang Zanbo got unprecedented access to the implementation of the financial plan and for three years he filmed the making of a section of a highway through a quiet village in Hunan, the province where Chairman Mao was born. The film follows local villagers and peasants that are forced to move due to land acquisition. The management of the construction company want their share of the financial apple. As a consequence corruption and violence has become a common part of the making of the road. Nevertheless, the Xu-Huai Highway was opened with great fanfare in 2013.

Shooting the Revolution Film Series -  Soviet Propaganda Animation 1
Posted: 13/March/2017


16 March 2017 at 6 PM


The first screening in a 2-part program of Soviet propaganda animation offers an insight into the ways of creatively packaging Bolshevik ideology, implemented with a variety of animation techniques. The work of early Soviet visual artists demonstrates how irony, satire, grotesque, caricature, and a streamlined language of political propaganda are put to the service of the new regime, ridiculing and threatening the world bourgeoisie, claiming the moral superiority over capitalism, mocking the vices of the imperial past, and envisioning a bright internationalist and interplanetary future. Nikolai Khodataev, Ivan Ivanov-Vano, Yuri Merkulov, Zenon Kimissarenko, Dziga Vertov, and others are among the pioneers of political animation, which foregrounded rather than masked its agitational message.

The screening is introduced by Dr. Oksana Sarkisova (Blinken OSA)

Free admission Limited seats are available on a first come first served basis.

Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives I 1051 Budapest, Arany János utca 32.

Where to, Miss  and Tiny Little Delicate Foreign Castles
Posted: 08/March/2017

March 9, 6pm, Blinken OSA Archive


Manuela Bastian / 2015 / Germany / 83 min / Hindi & English

The film received Special Mention in the ZOOM IN Student Film Competition at 13th Verzio Film Festival.

Devki finds herself in a continuous conflict between her wish to be emancipated and the deeply rooted traditions of Indian society. Her biggest wish is to become a taxi driver. She would like to ensure that other women reach home safely and would like to be financially independent. On the road to achieving her goal, she must withstand the opposition of her father, then her husband and in the end her father-in-law. Her daily routine is defined by the constant battle to defend her aspirations and attempting to pave a way for her to achieve her dreams without alienating her family.


Rob Key / 2014 / Portugal / 11 min / Portuguese & English / English subtitles

The film received Special Mention in the ZOOM IN Student Film Competition at 13th Verzio Film Festival.

A camera is a dangerous weapon. When it appears in the vicinity of a guarded object or a building, even in a public space, all rational arguments become useless as it is straightforwardly understood as a plausible threat. Yet, no one really knows what's going on. The filmmaker attempts to film embassies in Lisbon from the streets, provoking a range of reactions – mild to aggressive – from the security guards. The simple and straightforward idea for the film brings out an effective message, making the idea of boundaries in public spaces palpably visible.

Creative Worshop for Students - Symbols of Socialist Art
Posted: 02/March/2017

Kreatív workshop diákoknak

Csillagos ötös - A szocialista művészet jelképei // 2017.03. 10. és 13-án // Blinken OSA Archívum //


A program célja: A Blinken OSA Archívum A szocialista művészet jelképei című kiállításához kapcsolódó kreatív diákprogramot szervez, melynek célja a szocializmus jelképeinek feltérképezése, politikai és művészeti alkalmazásuknak a megismerése, valamint annak vizsgálata, hogy mit jelentenek e szimbólumok az új generációk számára.

A workshop kitűnő lehetőség a diákok történelmi és művészeti ismereteinek gazdagítására.

A végén mindenkinek kijár a csillagos ötös, ez a minimumJ


A foglalkozásokat vezetik:

Hemrik László, múzeumpedagógus

Dabi-Farkas Rita, képzőművész

Salgó Viktória, múzeumpedagógus

Szira Henrietta, képzőművész





Március 10. péntek 9:00 / 11:00 / 14:00 (2 órás blokkokban, csoportonként max. 30 fő)

Március 13. hétfő 9:00 / 11:00 / 14:00 (2 órás blokkokban, csoportonként max. 30 fő)

A limitált létszám miatt korai jelentkezés javasolt! Regisztráció érkezési sorrendben.

Kérjük, pontosan adják meg az iskola nevét, a létszámot, a kiválasztott időpontot és a tanár elérhetőségét (telefonszám).


A részvétel ingyenes. Jelentkezési határidő: 2017. március 7. kedd


Helyszín: OSA Archívum, 1051 Budapest, Arany János utca 32.

Bővebb információ és regisztráció: Kövecsi Anikó / +361 327-3250 /


“The Symbols of Socialist Art”
Posted: 28/February/2017

VERNISSAGE 2017. February 2., 18:00

Opening remarks by

Iván Székely Blinken OSA Archívum

József Mélyi, art historian

The “sickle and hammer”, or the “red star” are still well-known Communist symbols, but how can we read other images, like “Sun”, or “book” in the context of Communist imagery? In 1974, art historian Nóra Aradi, the omnipotent guardian of Socialist Realism in Hungary, published a book entitled The Symbols of Socialist Art. Her aim was to collect the different meanings and usages of the symbols and icons of “Socialist Art”, thus providing a useful handbook both to the artists and to the audience. Her visual dictionary is a unique document of Socialist and Communist imagery that, a quarter century after the fall of Communism, may also serve as a visual aid, a tool in translating the past to newer generations who were born after 1989.

This communist Iconologia, similar to Cesare Ripa’s path-breaking work from the 17th century, goes far beyond a simple visual dictionary: it also preserves the world-view – in the most literal sense – of the era. With the help of contemporary artists from the Central and Eastern European region, the exhibition The Symbols of Socialist Art explores and critically re-evaluates this visual dictionary, while also investigating the role of its author in the making of the art history of the 2nd half of the 20th century in Hungary.

Invited artists:

Erik Janeček/ APART Collective (SK), Adela Babanova (CZ), Anna Baumbart (PL), Fokus Grupa (CR), Galántai György (HU), Little Warsaw (HU), Jan Pfeiffer (CZ), Randomroutines (HU), Katarina Šević (HU), Société Réaliste (HU/FR), Szalay Péter (HU)

Curated by Katalin Székely
Curator of the section “Nóra Aradi”: József Mélyi
Curator and research assistant: Csaba Gál

The exhibition runs: February 2 – March 19 2017

Jan Pfeiffer: Předtím, než jsem tam byl / Before I Was There, 2008
animation film, 4’40’’

[Film Screening and Discussion -  Patria Nostra
Posted: 27/February/2017


PATRIA NOSTRA - Minor Hungarian refugees in 1956 in the French Foreign Legion.

89 min. in Hungarian and French with English subtitles

28 February 2017

6:00 p.m.

The screening is accompanied by a discussion with the author and film director Béla Nóvé (Historian) and  András Mink, (Historian, Blinken OSA Archivum)

Blinken OSA Archivum / Galeria Centralis - 1051 Budapest, Arany János u. 32.

Free admission | Limited seats available on a first-come first-served basis

There were some 500 teenage Hungarians who fought against the Soviet tanks in 1956, and a few years later joined the French Foreign Legion – only to be sent to fight in the Algerian war. Thus they were involved in two of the most heated conflicts of the Cold War period, and both times they were on „the losing side”.
Very little is known about their subsequent fate. After a long search we were lucky enough to locate some survivers in Corsica and Provence. Since most of them were denied re-entry to their homeland – some until as late as 1990 –, they continued to serve in the Legion for 20 or 30 years in such far-away places as Algeria, Corsica, Madagascar, Tahiti, Chad, Djibouti and French Guiana.
No wonder that they are still fighting now – at least in their hearts – , feeling obliged to redefine their loyalty to their native land (Hungary) and their host country (France). And of course to the Legion itself, which offered them a sort of ’asylum’ or ’homeland’ for so many years. The motto says it all: ’Légion Patria Nostra’.

Re Verzio Film Series
Posted: 19/February/2017

A 'food for thought' selection from the 13th Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival's repertoire.

February 6 - March 29, 2017

People are seated on a first-come, first-served basis. Come in time!





Bem Cinema - Budapest, Margit krt. 5, 1027

Blinken OSA Archive - Budapest, Arany János u. 32, 1051

Gólya - Budapest, Bókay János u. 34, 1083

Dziga Vertov, A Sixth Part of the World (1926)
Posted: 16/February/2017


22 February 2017

6:30 pm

Dziga Vertov, A Sixth Part of the World (1926)

73 min

In Russian with English subtitles

The screening is introduced by Dr. Oksana Sarkisova (Blinken OSA)

Free admission | Limited seats are available on a first-come first-served basis



Dziga Vertov, A Sixth Part of the World (1926)

73 min


Vertov’s spatially most ambitious film, A Sixth Part of the World was commissioned by the State Trade monopoly, but turned out to be far more than a mere run-of-the-mill promotion film. This cine-race across the Soviet universe stretches eastwards, northwards, and southwards and creates a highly ambiguous image of a “union of borderlands.” The film is both a visual experiment with ways of representing a new form of supra-ethnic unity and a novel form of travelogue. It earned Vertov not only high praise as a “cine-poet” but also vilification as an “exoticism-hunter.”  Sixth Part of the World unfolds in six loosely connected parts, each with a different focus. Its pioneering structure and visual language ensured heightened attention to the film at the time of its release – as well as a short distribution life. It was called at once monumental, epic, and a lyrical vision of the Soviet Union.


My Own Private War - Re Verzio Film Series
Posted: 16/February/2017

 Re Verzio 2017

February 16, 6pm, Blinken OSA Archive


Lidija Zelović / 2015 / The Netherlands / 57min / English & Dutch & Serbian & Croatian / English subtitles


The film was screened in the International Panorama section at 13th Verzio Film Festival.

Born into an ethnically mixed family, Lidija Zelović grew up in Sarajevo where she started to work as a TV reporter. In the early 1990s, she fled from the Balkan civil war to the Netherlands but she later returned to report as a TV journalist from her home country. Now she returns on a personal quest to settle an account with the country where she was born. What awaits her twenty years on is a war that is still going on in the minds of the people. With mounting frustration, Zelović is confronted with old hatred and new nationalist aggression – and discovers that her family's role as victims wasn't fully accurate.

Film Screening - LENINLAND (2013)
Posted: 14/February/2017

15 February 2017

6:30 pm

Directed by Askold Kurov, 52 min.
In Russian with English subtitles

The screening is introduced by Dr. Oksana Sarkisova (Blinken OSA)

Free admission | Limited seats are available on a first come first serve basis

In the USSR, the cult of Lenin had replaced the Orthodox religion that Communists wanted to eliminate. At the end of Soviet era, in the village Gorky, 20 kilometers from Moscow, the last and the most ambitious Museum of Lenin was built. In former days it had 3000 visitors per week, now it’s only 20. Today it looks like a temple of forgotten civilization, a place that has fallen out of time. But faithful to the ideas of Lenin the keepers of the museum remain. They wait for random visitors in the abandoned halls – and for the return of former times.

The story of the museum is shown through the two main characters Evgenia and Natalya, the caretakers of the museum. Natalya is 52 years old, a history teacher at the local school, fond of the Communism ideology, she really loves and respects Lenin. She likes the place where she works. 56 years old Evgenia is a scientific researcher. She’s also a hard-core new-age believer; she worships all sorts of gods, and considers Lenin one of the biggest among them. But after 10 years of dedicated work in the museum, she now wants to leave it and continue her spiritual journey in another place.