In the autumn, the Gödör Club, which was previously forced to relocate, will take the stage. The place, which aims to convey values and build community, will be a fresh highlight of being in Budapest.
The Gödör Club has been working on the construction and maintenance of a diverse, inclusive community space and cultural meeting place based on tolerance for about twenty years, the organizers of which could not be deterred from their mission by the forced moves and search for places. It is no exaggeration: their belief in cultural connections and the power of communities can set an example for any domestic initiative. The history of the Pit Club began in 2002, when an independent, open space was started at the venue planned for the new National Theater, the “national pit” with the founding of Judit Kakuk and Ákos Filep, where different generations could meet on stage and in the auditorium, various concerts, alternative art projects and civic initiatives. Despite highly successful concerts, exhibitions, performances, dance and theater performances, thematic and all-arts festivals in various genres, the club was forced to leave in 2012 when the venue was taken over by the Design Terminal. But the staff did not disintegrate after that: even that summer, the Pit Camp was organized at Lake Venice, and it was soon continued at the beginning of Király utca, in the building of the Central Passage. But the conditions were not ideal here either: they were first limited to the first floor – this became the EightTen Clubs – and then closed in 2019.
The community, on the other hand, marched on: they targeted the Diszel Mansion in the vicinity of the Káli Basin and Tapolca, where a mini-festival was organized over two weekends while looking for a new location. When the sixth district municipality announced a tender for the utilization and renovation of the monumental building in the deteriorating conditions at 50 Király utca, the former seat of the seagull, which was also a dominant cultural space, the Gödör team immediately saw an opportunity in it. The renovation was a challenge, but the club’s founder and leader, architect Ákos Filep, did not back down from the task: in mid-September, the three-storey building, completely renovated with eighty million forints of private capital, could be opened under Gödör Underground, where the community plans for at least ten years. “We have a sense of lack, if there is no Pit Club, it has become a part of our lives to be in this community,” music program manager Dániel Maróti told our newspaper when we asked what drives them forward. “It never occurred to us not to continue somewhere.” There is a need that comes from our community, the people around us, the workers, the performing artists, and the audience to do it over and over again. We’d be happier, of course, if we didn’t always have to look for a new place and start over, but on the one hand, nothing lasts forever, and on the other hand, cool clubs haven’t lived through really long periods. Usually these places tend to operate for four to five years and then something happens to them. In comparison, we spent almost ten years in Elizabeth Square, which is no small time. And if we look at it as a whole, we now have almost our twentieth birthday, Dániel Maróti explained. Club organizers come up with a variety of projects and think in a non-profit way: they want to make the place self-sustaining, while the primary goal remains to represent a culture of quality. – The kind of club life that was strong in Budapest even in the nineties seems to be disappearing, pub culture has taken its place; hospitality has become a kind of driving force in cultural life. The hospitality industry has a strong influence on what programs are presented; for understandable reasons, because the goal is to have many. However, Gödör is not a big club – it can accommodate three hundred people – and here it is not a goal to move the masses, hospitality is a service unit of cultural programs, not the other way around. This is important because when hospitality determines the program, it goes to the detriment of quality, the music program manager stressed.
In the offer, anyone can find something to their liking: there will be a Contemporary Gödör, where theater and dance performances, civic conversations, exhibitions will take place, and concerts will take place within the framework of EightTen. But there will be a Literary Band, Gödör Film Club, a Roma cultural trip as part of Athe Sam. Together with the Terézváros Municipality, they also organize a Climate Club, where you can expect green programs and yoga. Ákos Filep said that in addition to continuing the traditions, renewal is also an important goal: they also want to give emerging artists a space in addition to the artists who have already performed. In the spirit of this, similarly to the previous openings, Péter Müller Sziámi was the first to appear on the stage of Gödör Underground, this time together with the musicians of Romano Drom, we also got a taste of the performances of Ágnes Bárdos, Mihály Víg and János Bródy at the press event. In a short lecture, Tamás Jordán also flashed up his plans. As he said, he comes to Király utca with works by contemporary authors such as Plato, Attila József and Endre Ady. The most important keywords in the life of Gödör are community building, value transmission, and openness. In connection with this, Ákos Filep said at the press tour of the place: – We have always been classified as an opposition: not because we are a political opposition, but because we love progressive, alternative, socially critical artists who contribute to public life. And progressivity is always critical. We don’t want to take part in the crazy right-wing and left-wing cultural struggle, because at this level – in art – there is no right and left, there is credibility and quality, he detailed. In the spirit of this idea, Dániel Maróti also emphasized that everyone who is open to cultural diversity is welcome. – We have always professed to be a welcoming space. Not only do we want to organize programs, but we base club life on bringing ideas to the audience as well. We already worked like this in Erzsébet Square: many projects were born, which was not our idea, they just found us with it. We want to do this this way in the future.
Total art in the Balaton Uplands
The opening of Gödör Underground will be preceded by another near-nature event: an open-air, family-, child- and dog-friendly all-arts festival will be organized at the Diszel Mansion from 14 to 19 August. The XVIII. century Gödör Camp festival, where there will be podium talks, exhibitions, community programs, contemporary dance, action painting, green thoughts, children’s programs and evening big concerts. Among others, János Bródy, Európa Kiadó, Balaton, Péter Müller Sziámi and Friends and Romano Drom, ColorStar, Vilmos Gryllus, Bori Rutkai, Pál Utcai Boúk and Control Group will perform at the six-day event. There will be community programs, including Bertalan Zsili Babos, István Zámbó, Zsolt Vetlényi, Green Guide Budapest and Zoltán Grecsó, a cultural prayer ribbon, action painting and a campfire.
Source: Népszava by nepszava.hu.
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