Covid19 and TV Free Europe

The pandemic became a big change maker for TV Free Europe.

Our original plan to create a wandering TV studio theatre as communication and research tool. We were right at the point to start our on-site research on the Hungarian-Austrian border area when he pandemic entered the scene in early Spring 2020.

We were suddenly confronted with some major challenges:
– can our project still go on? what about our fundings? are the supporters flexible enough?
– if we can keep doing the project, how can we stay in touch with remote partners… or even with our partners in another town in Hungary and finally… even within our core group in Budapest?
– what can be the relevance of such a project in the new context of a pandemic
– finding ways to connect to audiences online


We realized our original TV metaphor gained momentum in this situation. We started redifinding our name too.

Television, online streaming and online TVs have been arising everywhere due to the pandemic. Theatre and everyday culture is broadcasted now. Which critical role can media take in this situation? Which potential and which limits does online culture have and which alternatives are there?

Which dangers and potentials does this state of exception, created by the pandemic, contain? What can we learn from the 1989 system changes for the maybe upcoming on that we are just experiencing? How can we wake up in a free Europe tomorrow? And what could the future of Europe look like?

Borders are closed again. The nightmare future of 1989 is coming close. How is the European idea transforming? Is there such thing as European solidarity? What does it mean to rethink the borders?

In order to stay in creative dialog within our group, we launched a common channel:  TV Free Europe goes online as a linear TV channel. Its formats and contents have been created by all the partners and theirs collaborators and invited guests. The TV Channel is not for consumption in the first place, but rather to bring us back to our main concept line of „TV as common media making“ where audience and sender can swap place — as in Brechts radio theory proposed.

The channel is not supposed to be another livestreaming and one more cultural divertissement /entertainment but enable a reflection about the above the whole thing.

It takes its inspiration from experimental TV formats of the 1980s (from “TV Party” by Glenn O’Brien to Top lista nadrealista from Sarajevo) and from the present in order to think about the TV of the future.

Can the resurrection of this ghostly medium react to the re-closing of national and mental borders in Europe, the restrictions of freedom of speech and the bueraucratisation of public sphere?