And the Winner Is… Appointing Artistic Directors in Hungary


The current paper presents those processes which characterizes the appointment of a leadership of Hungarian cultural institutions. Public theaters, performing arts institutions and independent theaters stay in the focus of the paper. Looking at such cases as National Theater in Budapest, New Theater, Trafó etc.  the paper demonstrates political interference and intervention into the appointment of a leader of an institution by the ministry/local government. Also the paper analyzes the vulnerable legal frames and the weaknesses of these processes; lack of transparency of the processes, lack of understanding of what is of “public benefit”, lack of public and professional control over the processes result into politically biased decision making. The paper states that after the conservative political turn in 2010 these biased political decisions became a general practice; exceptions are rare.

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