Backpacking Visegrád with Pen and Camera

Participants of the History Camp in Budapest | Photo: Tina Gotthardt
Participants of the History Camp in Budapest | Photo: Tina Gotthardt

From 22 September to 1 October 20 winners of EUSTORY history competitions discussed freedom of the press and the media´s role as supporter or opponent of social movement in the states of the Visegrád Group. For the EUSTORY History Camp “Backpacking Visegrad with Pen and Camera” the young Europeans travelled from Budapest via Prague to Gdańsk by night train.

During their journey they met journalists and activists and were able to gain insights into their work. At the same time they documented their impressions in written form and on film – the results will be published on the History Campus page, EUSTORY´s online platform for young debates about European commemorative culture. The backpackers were accompanied by a journalist who helped them with their reporting so that the backpacking trip also served as a reality check for the journalistic ambitions of the participants.

In Budapest the youngsters met up with the journalist Gábor Miklós from the online platform INDEX and Pethő András from Direkt36 and others. They told them about the difficulties of journalistic writing under strict laws. In Prague they visited “The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes”. In Gdańsk the participants spoke to dedicated young journalists, among them Paulina Sigien who works for the local media in the Gdansk-Kaliningrad border region. At the “European Solidarity Centre” the participants had the opportunity to meet Basil Kerski, the director of the institution, and to browse the archives.

After ten days of intense journalistic work the young people left Gdańsk and went back to their home countries full of motivation. “Not only did I find new friends, but I learned a lot about the freedom of the press and the Hungarian uprising in 1956, the Prague Spring in 1968 and the Solidarność movement in the 1980s in Poland”, says Irene, a Spanish prize winner.

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Photos: Körber-Stiftung

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