Systematic Suppression: Hungary’s Arts and Culture in Crisis

Over the last decade, Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, has implemented constitutional, legislative, and administrative changes aimed at consolidating his party’s control over the arts. Under Orbán’s leadership, Hungary’s previously independent arts and culture sector has been refashioned as a mechanism for advancing a singular ethno-nationalist narrative.

Created in partnership with UC Berkeley School of Law and Columbia University’s Harriman Instituteand funded by the SDK Foundation for Human Dignity, Systematic Suppression exposes how Orbán’s administration wields policy to limit free expression, restrict plurality in the arts, and encourage self-censorship among Hungarian artists. Grounded in international, regional, and national legal frameworks, this report documents the impact the Orbán administration has had on the arts and culture sector in Hungary. Further, it seeks to strengthen protections for artists and cultural workers through precise, actionable policy recommendations.

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