The River School: Danube Currents
Central European University, Budapest
6-8.30pm, 4 October 2013
With presentations by Ilona Nemeth, Michal Hvorecky and Cili Lohász,
Introduced by Alan Watt and Maja and Reuben Fowkes
Danube Currents is an interdisciplinary overture to the river that examines its transformative power for writers, artists and activists both today and at critical, system-changing moments of the recent past. In contrast to conventional approaches that stress the geo-political significance and cultural heritage of the fluvial region, the focus of this gathering is on personal and collective interactions with the river and its environmental history, current initiatives to reconnect with the Danube through contemporary lifestyles and explorations of the currents of artistic experimentation that flow across borders. This seminar is a preface to a year-long series of floating workshops, migrating exhibitions and research symposia of the River School organised by the Translocal Institute in Bratislava, Budapest and Bucharest.
Danube Currents is realised in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Science and Policy and the Centre for Arts and Culture at Central European University and through the River School supported by the EU Culture Programme.
Michal Hvorecky, fiction writer, was born 1976, in Bratislava, the Slovak Republic. He is the author of seven books of fiction. His books have been translated into six languages. He got his Master Degree at The Institute of Literary and Artistic Communication at the University in Nitra, Slovakia. He was the fellow of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. He is regular contributor on culture and politics to various daily papers and magazines in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. He lives with his family in Bratislava.
Ilona Nemeth is a leading Slovak-Hungarian artist who teaches at the Intermedia Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. Her recent projects include Dilemma at the former Ernst Museum in Budapest (2011), which explored the ethical issues around exhibition making in the current climate, the public art project Mirror (2013), and a series of rentable Floating Gardens for Košice, the European Capital of Culture 2013. In September she also transformed the monumental space of Bratislava through her ephemeral intervention Fog.
Cili Lohász is one of the founders of the Budapest-based group Valyo, város és folyó, (City and river), which has been running for three years now. She was born in Budapest, has an MSc in Biology, Chemistry and Geography, and cycles every day along the river. She works on awareness-raising and training projects connected to climate change, and in her free time creates small pilot spaces along the Danube river in the inner city with the group, in order to show how they imagine these could be used by the public.