Friday, 27 January 2012

"Gyorgy Szabo must be reinstated if his pioneering work is to be maintained and if Trafo is to remain a centre of excellence"

As artists travelling the world and presenting our work in many different contexts we get to see a huge variety of festivals, venues and meet a lot of programmers and curators. 
Some are bad, some are average, some are good and some are excellent. 
Some manage, often in the strangest and most difficult of circumstances, to produce an amazing programme - creating a space for new work and up and coming artists to flourish; and fostering debate, inspiration and creativity across borders. 
One such place, in the last 13 years, has been Trafo under the leadership of Gyorgy Szabo. 
Trafo is a unique institution in Central-Eastern Europe, respected throughout the world for presenting excellent and innovative work by both Hungarian and international artists. 
It has been key role in introducing Hungarian audiences to some of the finest dance and performance work on the world stage as well as showcasing the work of independent Hungarian artists to foreign programmers, making it internationally visible. 
We’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the programme at Trafo and we value that experience very highly. 
We know that many many professionals around the world who share the same opinion and respect for the work which Gyorgy Szabo has done to develop and maintain Trafo’s multidisciplinary commitment, its risk-taking and intelligent programming, and its strong bond with international partners. 
As well as putting Budapest on the performing arts map, Trafo has become an essential part of the international contemporary arts scene.
This international respect is due to the professionalism and dedication of Gyorgy Szabo and his team. He has shown inspiring leadership as well as a detailed knowledge of and connection with the international performing arts circuit. 
This combination of artistic vision, shrewd management and robust networks has given Trafo an international profile which could now be lost. 
Gyorgy Szabo must be reinstated if his pioneering work is to be maintained and if Trafo is to remain a centre of excellence. 
At the present moment, as Europe faces a time of political and economic crisis which cuts deep into it’s social and cultural fabric. One thing we need at this moment is to support and value the artists and the artistic organisers who can help to identify and present new visions, new ways of thinking and new ways of understanding.
We wish Gyorgy Szabo and his team every success in continuing their important mission.

With best wishes, and respect,

Tim Etchells, artistic director, Forced Entertainment