The little melting pot
Audio walk for the individual listener-walker and a flag in public space
(Details and links for download are available in Related programs below.)
“Oh you broad moat of Tihany: you were once the last hope of many a good Hungarian.”
The point of departure for The Little Melting Pot is an actual strategic plan that was never carried out: during the 1849 Hungarian War of Independence, the Hungarian army command ordered the isolation of the Tihany peninsula from the mainland by a moat, so that the remaining corps could huddle up here and continue the resistance, but the operation could never even begin. On account of the circumstances and the faulty assessment of the possibilities, the plan for the “Hungarian Gibraltar” failed. In The Little Melting Pot, Tihany as the last hope of the war of independence becomes the metaphor of the alternative nation that was vanquished along with the freedom fight.
“Our revolution has pursued three fundamental ideals […] The first ideal is setting the form of government right. […] The second ideal is to grant individual rights [...]. The third great fundamental ideal is the unrestrained evolution of national and ethnic minorities. All ethnicities should be granted the right of unrestrained national evolution,” phrased Hungarian Prime Minister Bertalan Szemere at the last revolutionary national assembly of July 28, 1849. However, ethnic minorities were never granted equal rights and the community of fraternal nations never came to life; the grievances and grudges between ethnic minorities have carried on to this day in public discourse and in politics.
The soundwalk is designed for the individual listener-walker. In it, layers of historical and present-day nationalism unfold through lesser known 19th century stories and contemporary texts embedded in soundscapes.
The walk should be started from any green area with trees situated in the immediate vicinity of an ideally less noisy neighbourhood, street or road.
The audience will participate in an audio tour in a familiar urban environment in Budapest, where layers of historical and present-day nationalism unfold through lesser known 19thcentury stories embedded in soundscapes as well as contemporary texts and interventions in the public space. Little Melting Pot examines the modern concept of nation as well as different multinationalist nationalisms that formed part of the discourse on nation at the birth of nationalism as such and that acknowledged and accepted individual rights, but were subdued by the ethnicist approach already in the 19thcentury. In the meantime, our project also questions the exclusiveness of the ideas that serve as primary reference in the justification of national identities across the Central and Eastern European region. An idea cannot fail definitively while there are still people to recall it.
Collaborating partners: Orsolya Barna, Kristóf Kelemen, Miklós Zsámboki
Performers (HU): Katalin Homonnai, Iringó Réti, Judit Böröcz, Luca Kövécs, Virág Lődi, Tünde Mészáros, Judit Flóra Schuller
Performers (EN): Faye Bradbrook, Kata Sarbó, Orsolya Balogh, Anna Bentley, Katalin Erdődi, Judit Flóra Schuller, Tímea Sipos
Music: Nikolai Galen (The Pastoral Symphony: 2nd Movement, take 2, mix 1), Bence Kovács-Vajda (Surface Drainage), Tijana Stanković (Solo at Jazzire 2019), Máté Szigeti (Slow and Loud, Second Movement - Beethoven)
Sound: Bence Kovács-Vajda, Ákos Zságer-Varga
Translation: Anna Bentley (EN)
Photo, video, flag realization: Sári Ember
Textile dyeing (flag): Nikoletta Szakács
Advisor (text): János Róbert Orsós
Copy editor: Károly Tóth
Production assistant: Zsuzsa Valtinyi
Special thanks: Gábor Balázs, Domokos Borbás, Réka Böröcz, Gábor Egry, Kristóf Kelemen, Marcell Lőrincz, Aliz Mátyus, András Mink, Ráhel Monory, StudioMajor, OFF-Biennale team, Trafó House of Contemporary Arts
Sponsors: Summa Artium, Subjective Values Foundation Budapest
The Little Melting Pot – Flag