Third Sector

The Third Sector is a long-term research project, which surveys the history, motivations, methods and experiences of three Hungarian community initiatives (Auróra, Gólya Community Center, Off-Biennále Budapest) with the objectives of sharing knowledge and establishing a new long-term cultural paradigm.

The project aims at creating a documentary, an online database centered around the issues of the civil organizations and the establishment of a mobile community space, which would unite the energies of various small self-organized groups working on the reconstruction of democratic public sphere and civil society.

The participating communities and individuals consider the project itself a community building activity.

The Third Sector presents the first phase of its research in the framework of the OFF-Biennále Budapest in the form of a 12-episode series of online videos (translation, and more English content soon) and a public debate focusing on the following questions:

How a democratic structure can be implemented on the level of micro-organizations, and what hierarchies the process generates. What kind of community concept is able to bind together self-organized communities and how these latter envision the civil society. How close these communities are, how their activities can be opened and how a real participation can be achieved. To what extent and how long the sustainability of voluntary work can be maintained. What the distinctive political positions of these grassroots initiatives are. How they define their mission and what their most critical problems and questions are at the moment.

The Third Sector:

  1. doesn’t believe that the only alternative of the current illiberal-nationalistic-etatist cultural model is a hierarchic-profit-oriented-neoliberal cultural establishment;
  2. doesn’t believe that following the expropriation of the state funds which has been going on in the recent years, the future of Hungarian visual culture can and should be built solely on the potentials of upper class art collectors, the commercial gallery network and the corporations’ willingness for sponsorship;
  3. doesn’t believe in an elitist art concept and practice, which attempts to influence the social processes through impressing the individual perception with the absurdist effect of the unusual, which detaches itself from the inherent politics of the public sphere, while it doesn’t question its own relationship towards the capital;
  4. it considers cynical and unethical to hijack the human and financial resources towards the well-off, who consider the art only an object of financial investment;
  5. doesn’t believe that the civil society can be developed by means of formalized method-patterns of the corporatist management spirituality;
  6. doesn’t believe in that cultural position which in the hope of securing financial sources avoids the confrontation of political self-positioning;

  1. believes in a social model which goes beyond the historically determined dichotomy struggle of the last 25 years, transcending it based on the life experience of the generation brought up since the Hungarian change of regime, relying on values such as inclusiveness, self-organization, horizontality, access, participation, social solidarity and internationality;
  2. believes in the state’s responsibility in sustaining the culture, demanding at the same time the transformation of fund-distribution practices in order to secure the widest access as opposed to ideological exclusion;
  3. aims at the development of an artistic practice, which through the appropriation of political strategies exerts an active and direct influence on the social processes, and doesn’t only serve the cultural needs of the solvent middle class;
  4. doesn’t consider cynical the artistic practice which converts the accessible symbolic and real capital into the transformation of social processes;
  5. believes in the spontaneous and active collaboration based on the shared experiences of various actors in the cultural and social field;
  6. believes in the political competence of art by considering it one of the major tools of the restoration and maintenance of democratic institutions.

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