Expanded Spaces – 50 years of Hungro-Gypsism

Documentary movies made between 1960’s till today related to the issues of Roma inclusion, deep poverty and cultural initiatives. Some of the movies could have seemed very old and showing a very different reality related to today’s Hungary. But the screening of the movies on the 13th December in the Roma Parliament, Budapest was very special, as the movies were linked together by the acts of the Independent Theater’s performance.

The movie-performance showed many similarities between the social situation, political attitude and cultural challenges of the state socialist times and today. The event started as a round table discussion, where a politician, an artist, a human right activist and an architect businessman participated. Although they played roles, their discussion didn’t seem a theater performance – just a normal discussion before a screening. After the first video, the actors started to interpret it, and debate about actual questions as the movie wasn’t made 50 years ago but yesterday. They also involved the audience in the discussion. Their debate showed we still have similar problems related to the examined issues like 50 years ago. In the later scenes the actors came back in different situations, where they face existential and moral questions in their present life, which were quite similar to the ones seen in the screened movies. At the end of the performance the audience was the witness of an unmoral agreement , which was made by the human right activist and the politician, and also the fact that it depends on us, if we do such compromises and if the situation will get any better in our country in the next 50 years or remains the same for 100 years.

The documentation of the performance become a part of the movie made by Sebestyén Kodolányi the co-worker of the oldest Hungarian alternative movie studio (BBS), who was fired afterwards – which is also very similar situation to the 60s.