Declaration of solidarity of E:UTSA with the University of Theater and Film Arts Budapest (SZFE)
With great concern we look at the latest development in Hungary’s cultural and educational landscape. A board of trustees appointed by the government has taken over the management powers of the Budapest University of Theatre and Film Arts (SZFE) and abolished the university’s autonomy. In this way, Viktor Orbán´s government is taking another decisive step toward eliminating critical positions and transforming the Hungarian cultural and educational landscape into an instrument for propagating folkish nationalism. At the same time, with this autocratic and undemocratic approach it is moving further away from European fundamental rights.
We are extremely concerned about the elimination of the democratically elected organs of the SZFE and emphasize the non-negotiable freedom in art, science and teaching, which is a cornerstone of European self-conception. A concept of art and education oriented towards nationalism, on the other hand, definitely needs to be put on the scrap heap of the disastrous history of the 20th century.
We express our solidarity with the students, the resigned teachers, the resigned rectorate and the resigned senate of the Budapest University of Theatre and Film Arts (SZFE) and demand the unrestricted restoration of the university’s autonomy.
We expect the governments of all EU countries to exert pressure on the Hungarian government and to return all its powers to the governing bodies.
Prof. Jochen Schölch (Chair)