Migration crisis. You hear this everyday in the european press. This exhibition is about migration from Hungary. The question is ’Why has this become a major issue in Hungary?’ In this exhibition the artist gives a new approach to this controversial situation. He reflects on the problem from the view point of many foreign people who came not only for economical reasons. He speaks on behalf of those who feel themselves helpless in their home country. But what is it all about?
The population of Hungary is 9.8 million people according to the Hungarian Statistical Office (KSH). The population of Hungary is decreasing year by year. The main reason for the decrease is the unwillingness to have children, but in previous years migration was still a major issue. They judge that there are several hundred thousand Hungarians who have left their country and are now living in another member state. These statistics show that London is the second biggest Hungarian city after Budapest. According to the opposition the migrated Hungarians are economical migrants.
Mr Viktor Orban, prime minister, said in 2014 that this is a natural process if the Hungarian young people want to try their luck abroad. According to Mr Orban, if the Hungarians work abroad it is an adventure so there is no reason to call them migrants.
You can see that the politicians think about migration in very different ways. As a solution to this crisis they founded several different programs for those who have a willingness to move back. But the Hungarian youth have not gone back. It revealed that those who have migrated in previous years are not just the young but in many cases in their 50’s. And what’s more, it is not unusual for people to have a university degree and work in catering or in a warehouse or factory. Really, the economical crisis caused the migration?
The artist focuses on a group of Hungarians who have not come for an adventure, who are not young and have not come for a better salary. There is a group who think that their future is not bright and the future of Hungary is not bright either. Those who tried everything, who had big dreams but failed to find their happiness at home. Those who love their country but escaped from there.
The artist has put those political events from the previous years in the centre of this exhibition which shows the controversy of Hungarian political life; the building of brand new football stadiums (even in the prime minister’s home village), state lands being given to those who are in the inner circle, corruption at every level, centralisation, laws against the free press, transformation of the education system which humiliated teachers, the rewriting of school books according to the official government policy, the pathetic state of the health care system, the state supervision in the cultural life.
They decided about the arts as well: The government established the Hungarian Academy of Arts in order for them to supervise Hungarian cultural life. They decided what art is, (of course art is art only, if it is Hungarian), and their opinion is not sympathetic towards contemporary art. According to the scheme they are going to decrease the authority of the National Cultural Fund by bringing the national tenders under their (MMA) authority which means that they can decide who can receive financial support for artistic work in Hungary and who cannot.
This is European freedom in a post-communist country, three decades after they changed the political system.
Who is responsible for the events above, or can these cases be seen in any other country?