Documentary Screening ‘The Free University’ in NYC – Attacks on Academic Freedom in Hungary
Documentary film screening ‘The Free University’
(54 min,) followed by a Q&A
In 2019, Central European University became the first university in Europe to be forced out of a country since World War II. This exile did not happen overnight. CEU and other Hungarian academic institutions have faced a relentless torrent of misinformation, propaganda and open hostility. Despite international warnings from US and European policymakers, the Hungarian government refused to back down.
Szabad Egyetem [Hungarian for Free University] is not only the title of the film but also the name of a group of activist students from CEU and other Hungarian universities. When CEU had no choice than to leave Hungary, students organized an occupation of Parliament Square with more than 80 academic and cultural events. The ‘Free University’ became a participatory event for the local community, and a space for discussion and public debate. However, in the end, this occupation marked the end of CEU’s long-term existence in Budapest. CEU moved to Vienna in September 2019, marking one of the latest dramatic threats to academic freedom in Hungary.
A film by Jonathan Hunter and Lucie Janotová
54 minutes, followed by a Q&A with current students and faculty from Central European University