Battle with the empty sky
Latest event of the Alliance of Academie in Hungary.
The European Alliance of Academies launched a series of events on the freedom of the arts in Budapest with a public discussion and workshops involving authors from all over Europe and in close cooperation with Society of Hungarian Authors.
Under the title „Battle with the Empty Sky: Language, nationalism and freedom of art in early 21st-century Europe“, Academy member and writer Robert Menasse, Hungarian author László Márton and Hungarian literary critic Anna Gács examined the interaction between language, society and politics: How are language and literature affected when politics moves in a populist, nationalist or other radical direction? The British poet Daljit Nagra moderated.
In preceding workshops with the authors Luc Devoldere (Belgium), Sophie Collins (London) and László Martón (Budapest), different aspects of the topic were discussed on a European level: Which terms are reinterpreted by politics? What vocabulary do we need to describe future challenges? What possibilities are there for authors to become socio-politically active without neglecting their linguistic aesthetics?
The event was an expression of the solidarity of the European Alliance of Academies with the Society of Hungarian Authors. In December 2020, the latter had vehemently defended itself against anti-Semitic statements by Szilárd Demeter, director of Budapest’s Petöfi Literary Museum. Various Alliance institutions – Royal Society of Literature, Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature and German Academy for Language and Literature – then joined forces to bring more public attention to the issue.
The event was funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb).
See here for more information about the event, our programme and press releases.