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Ágnes Eperjesi: Words of Power

Words of Power 1 / Political speech-performances in Parliament Words of Power 2 / Political karaoke-theater Words of Power 3 / Public performance and discussion

Ágnes Eperjesi: Words of Power 1 / Political speech-performances in Parliament

Words of Power is a three-part project, dealing with the impact of political speech. The texts are presented in three venues, symbolizing different levels of power. The parliamentary action represents the first stage of the project.

On April 13, 2015, the Words of Power speech was delivered in Parliament as part of the questioning session after the agenda reserved for opposition delegates.

I made a selection of original texts along the concept of what issues I, as a citizen, would like to see discussed in Parliament. My selection fell on speeches by foreign politicians in power. Using the best examples of the genre, I wished to remind the audience of the bleakness of domestic political discourse. The state presidents and prime ministers cited in the performance take a position on four urgent social issues.

The original texts were adapted to the specifics of the event. Titles of the parliamentary speech-performances:

1. Ewa Kopacz – Zsuzsanna Szelényi
Words of Power – on the silence of the majority

2. Thomas Hendrik Ilves – Zoltán Kész
Words of Power – on the annexation and justice

3. Jose Mujica – István Ikotity
Words of Power – on the civilizational model

4. Julia Gillard – Bernadett Szél
Words of Power – on sexism and misogyny


Ágnes Eperjesi: Words of Power 2 / Political karaoke-theater

The speeches of Hungarian prime ministers holding office after the political regime change were placed next to the texts treated earlier. The texts are presented in a closed theatrical space. Members of the audience may play an active role in invoking the political events of the recent past, and volunteers can present texts projected in the karaoke style.

For a few minutes, active members of the audience may assume the role of a prime minister serving in the past 25 years.

In a role-play, we can restage the Orbán-Gyurcsány debate and put ourselves in the position of Péter Medgyessy to see what it must have felt to resign from the post of prime minister.

In the theater we may also shape politics. We can deliver Victor Orbán’s resignation speech and select issues and speeches to help us imagine the future.

Ágnes Eperjesi: Words of Power 3 / Public performance and discussion

The speeches of four foreign prime ministers will be delivered outdoors before the public, on Szabadság Square. In cooperation with the Living Memorial group, the speeches will be analyzed as part of a free-university seminar discussion.

This time, instead of on presentation, the focus will be on content, the personality of the politician and/or foreign prime minister delivering the original text and the context of the speech. The discussion will be moderated by invited guests and experts.