The Upskill’s project third partners meeting took place in Budapest, Hungary, hosted by the Anthropolis Association. All together 16 participants has come from the partner organisations to try two workshop modules as a part of to know different best practices and also visiting some venues knowing a bit about the actual cultural field in Hungary. The organisers tried to give as wild horizon as it was possible within the tight timeframe, but they admitted at the beginning, that due to the lack of the time, they won’t show any examples on film and plastic art.
The Budapest meeting started with a one-day digital storytelling workshop led by the expterts of the Anthropolis. Digital storytelling is a relatively new term which describes the new practice of ordinary people who use digital tools to tell their ‘story’ (digital narratives). Digital stories often present in compelling and emotionally engaging formats, they are usually 2-3 minutes long.
One can define digital storytelling as the process by which diverse people share their life story and creative images with others.
The workshop was more intense as usual – in generally a complete digital storytelling workshops require 22-24 working hours –, it started with a briefing part, than two groups of 7-7 participants worked together in the story circle. The afternoon session started with an introduction and advices how to compose a digital story and about the construction the storyboard. During the session, all the 14 participants were working on their own story individually and with the help of the trainers. By the end of the first workshop day, all the stories were recorded on the voice of the storytellers.
The meeting’s second day venue was the Budapest Music Center, which is a private owned contemporary music and jazz hall, club, restaurant and library for professionals, opened in 2013. The institution was founded by the musician László Gőz from his own fund and beside of the performances gives some studio space for the young musicians.
For the whole group of the participants another active workshop was presented by Samu Gryllus composer and trainer, the Soundpainting which is the universal multidisciplinary live composing sign language for musicians, actors, dancers, and visual Artists. Presently (2014) the language comprises more than 1200 gestures that are signed by the Soundpainter (composer) to indicate the type of material desired of the performers. The creation of the composition is realized, by the Soundpainter, through the parameters of each set of signed gestures. The Soundpainting language was created by Walter Thompson in Woodstock, New York in 1974. The Soundpainting language is accessible to all students, from preschoolers to collegians to those with special needs. By engaging multiple learning styles (verbal, visual, aural, and kinaesthetic) for exploring creativity, Soundpainting breaks through boundaries, tapping into reservoirs of skills and expression that help students better understand themselves and the world in which they live.
In the meeting’s second half, beside of the project’s practical issues – such as analysing the two best practices leant in Budapest, continuation, evaluation, etc. – the participants could see and know some cultural organisations in Budapest, in different range.
The group visited to a former school building, nowadays an independent contemporary art centre and ‘incubator’ house, the Jurányi Ház. This is a recently opened incubation house on 6500 m², on 5 levels more than 11 theatre and dance companies, 40 creative and art institutions rent studio spaces for production, also Jurányi offers in 2 stages. The group get a short introduction about the place’s history and actual state of wok, as a community governed, democratic art institution by Zenkő Bogdán the manager of fundraising dealing with the EU calls as well. Then the group met with 2 contemporary dance companies’ representatives (Réka Szabó choreographer of The Symptoms group and Anikó Rácz, producer of the Stereo Akt). Than a short visit took place in the building, getting a first impression of the Jurányi’s activities and operation.
The other day, the group started at the Trafó, Contemporary Performance Centre, where György Szabó, the managing director of the Trafó presented the place telling the story of the founding, also screening some short videos of contemporary dance productions.
Later this day, four important Hungarian cultural institutions were introduced in short presentations. First the Janina Somolányi, the art manager of the Budapest Spring Festival presented the popular yearly event. This has been a state supported festival for more than three decades (in 2014 the 34th festival season was organised) with funding from Budapest and the Hungarian cultural and touristic governances. The festival is mostly a mainstream classical and contemporary music event with a large number of concerts, accompanied by other performances, theatre, dance and exhibitions.
Olga Irimiás art manager and Julia Bársony, founder if the MÜSZI introduced this independent art incubator centre and performance place situated on a floor of a semi-abandoned city department store. The MÜSZI started to work on 2013 with a business model to keep the place independent and open for a large selection of cultural and social events and functions.
Bálint Kádár introduced the Contemporary Architecture Centre, the KÉK, also an independent atelier reflecting to the recent socio-urban questions and problems. Having some voluntary based, more and more popular community programs in Budapest (like the 100 years old buildings’ weekend or community gardening), and sometime out of the town as well.
And finally, the mainstream yearly music festival, the Sziget was presented by Fruzsina Szép, the program director of the festival. This is one of the biggest open air summer festival in Europe situated on an island inside of Budapest, a bit further form the city centre. Based on different genders of popular music but having a large and open minded focus on other performing arts and the civil society as well.
The meeting ended in a special way, the group participated in a common cooking dinner in an apartment restaurant including the screening of the 14 digital stories – which is an essential part of the digital storytelling workshops – made during the first day, and technically completed by the Anthropolis to be able to shown.