Zana Poliakov on Sat, 10 Apr 1999 16:00:02 +0100

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Syndicate: eX-YU forum, discussion, videos, syndicate meeting and some other things to do in Budapest, when...

ex-YU Forum @ Trafó
14 April 1999, 19h TRAFÓ
15-16 April, 22h (BBS) Toldi Cinema

In place of the ex-YU zenei fesztivál which was planned for 14-15 April, and which is now impossible to present due to the fact that men between the ages of 16 and 60 are not permitted to leave Yugoslavia due to military mobilisation, we have organised a programme centering on a round-table discussion focused on the current situation, to take place on 14 April at 19:00. On 15 and16 April at 22:00 there will be an accompanying programme of short films from the region at the BBS Toldi Cinema.

We have invited the most prominent journalists in Hungary specialising in Yugoslav politics: József Juhász of the Department of Political Theory at ELTE, József Makai of Magyar Hírláp, formerly of Magyar Narancs, and Szilveszter Varga, international political correspondent of the Hungarian Radio to take part in the round-table. Alongside the experts, we are depending upon the contributions of a number of current ?guests? with us from Serbia. We hope that Sonja Licht, President of the Fund for an Open Society Yugoslavia, and József Kasza, President of the Hungarian Association of Voivodina, will be able to accept our invitation.
We also consider this a prime opportunity to organise a press conference focusing on the position(s) of the civil rights movement/civil society in Hungary, inviting representatives of the most relevant NGO?s in Hungary, such as Alba Circle, and the Hungarian offices of Helsinki Watch, the International Red Cross and the UNHCR.

Our guests from Serbia include half of the artist group Apsolutno (Novi Sad), and representatives of B92 and Cinema Rex (Belgrade). In keeping with the spirit and aims of the Trafó, the programme would focus on the political only within the context of the cultural and social perspectives.

B92 Statement
Our slogan used to be "Don't trust anyone, not even us". To this we have now added "... but keep the faith"

Belgrade -- April 1, 1999

On March 24, 1999 secretary-general of NATO issued the order to attack Yugoslavia. Four hours later Radio B92's transmissions were banned and essential transmission equipment confiscated. B92 Editor-in-Chief Veran Matic was detained without explanation and without an opportunity to contact his family or lawyers. He was released eight hours later, again without explanation and without having been questioned.

War has been declared in Yugoslavia. Sources of information are drying up.

HelpB92 was established at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24, 1999.
Radio B92 from Belgrade was the only significant electronic media in Serbia that remained truly independent, both from the regime and from the opposition. Though a local station, with limited range - covering only the centre of Belgrade - the station became the informative, cultural and democratic centre of Belgrade and Serbia. Its programs were original, inventive and of a consistently antiwar, anti-nationalistic flavour. Activities included B92 Radio Programming and News Production, Publishing - Books and Magazines, OpenNet - Yugoslavia's Alternative Internet Provider, Television and Film Production, Cinema REX Cultural Centre, and Music Production.

Low-Fi Video production and screening programmes are an initiative of Cinema Rex, supporting and promoting Yugoslav low-budget production of short film. We are lucky enough to have in Budapest (for a premiere screening) a compilation tape of The Best of Low-Fi (1997-99, 2 hours), including even three works made between 24-30 March 1999.
Apsolutno is an independent artists? initiative established by four individuals in 1993, who employ a variety of media (photography, video, CD-Rom, Internet, installations, actions) and whose production reflects and comments upon the political context and the role of the media.

In addition to the public round-table and/or press conference, a larger satellite programme would be a Syndicate meeting, which had been originally planned to take place in Belgrade this April in conjunction with a Yugoslav video festival (1970?s  1990?s) at Cinema Rex, and which has been detoured to Budapest.

The Syndicate was formed on 21 January 1996 during the Next 5 Minutes conference in
Rotterdam. A loose affiliation of artists, curators, networkers, writers and festival organisers, most of them from Eastern Europe, who are working in the field of electronic- and media-art. Because the emerging arts in these countries shared similar situations, it seemed a good idea to communicate more regularly, to stimulate collaboration, to facilitate co-operation between East and West, and to form a strategic alliance that is able to speak with one voice when necessary. The East-West axis has become less relevant for defining the character of the Syndicate. Any underworld organisation needs to define its territory though. The Syndicate calls it: Deep Europe.
Syndicate meetings have been organised in the context of festivals in Rotterdam (DEAF96), Liverpool (LEAF97), Kassel (Deep Europe workshop), Linz (Syndicate Net.Shop), Dessau (Ostranenie 97), Tirana (Pyramedia), and Skopje (Junction).
The heart of the Syndicate is its mailinglist, hosted by the Ars Electronica Center and coordinated by V2_Organisation in Rotterdam, which cleared a corner for what it called its V2_East initiative.

Budapest, 10 April 1999

On the part of the Soros Foundation Hungary C
3: Center for Culture & Communication:
Adele Eisenstein, Andrea Szekeres

On the part of Trafó  House of Contemporary Artists:
Eike, Kata Molnár
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