It turned out to be a creative chaos that made change possible. With the admission of the East German breakthrough, Hungary made the first crack in the Iron Curtain.
The Pan-European Picnic opened the way to a united Europe. What about the ideals of a united Europe 30 years later?
Can dreams still be reanimated or has Europe become a museum of old-fashioned ideas? Where is the moral responsibility? How do we get out of the impasse?
In conversation with Árpád Bella (head of the border guard in Sopron on 19. Aug.1989), András Kováts (Menedék Egyesület, Hungarian Association For Migrants), Bálint Magyar (former Minister of Education), Szilárd Demeter (director Petöfi Literary Museum), Rodrigo Balogh (Independent Theatre, International Roma Heroes Theatre Festival), Eszter Babarczy (professor Moholy Nagy Design University) and Ágnes Heller (philosopher).
The Border, a radio documentary by Petra Ardai and Geert van de Wetering.
Menedék/Hungarian Association For Migrants
27 March Frascati Issues Exit Europa
In Exit Europa / Enter Eutopia, theatre-makers, artists and writers will talk about the state of Europe. Where are we now, how on earth did we get here and what possible futures await us? A disquieting, visionary evening of razor-sharp sketches, surprising perspectives and hopeful prospects. After all, in uncertain times when political processes seem to be hopelessly failing, we need boundless imagination more than ever. Who will pick up the gauntlet?
Exit Europa / Enter Eutopia is a multilingual evening of pamphlets, theatrical texts, lecture performances, music and scenes. www.frascatitheater.nl/openingsavond
It’s nearly 30 years ago that the Pan-European Picnic took place: the border between Hungary and Austria was opened for three hours on 19 August 1989. After a long time people could for the first time travel freely between Eastern and Western Europe. The Pan-European Picnic is an important catalyst in the political developments that eventually led to the opening of the Iron Curtain. The era of hope had dawned: a united free democratic Europe. Can we re-animate the unpolarized hope that was there by remembering the picnic? Can a memory be channeled to the present to give us aspiration and vigour? How should we commemorate and celebrate the picnic?
Petra Ardai (Amsterdam) and Eszter Babarczy (Budapest), are best friends from high school. In a Skype conversation they recall their adolescent dream of Europe, stand still by the impact of one man daring to say no and envision their most desirable scenario of commemorating the Pan European Picnic.
Eszter Babarczy, publicist, essayist, translator, senior researcher and associate professor at the Moholy Nagy University for Art and Design Budapest. She teaches media, sociology of media, networks and networked communication as well as anthropology, philosophy of mind/body/nature/nurture, and the extensions of the self in objects, spaces, fantasies and group identities.