Wednesday, 31 August 2022

28th EAA Annual Meeting in Budapest

This year, the 28th EAA Annual Meeting is being held in Budapest, Hungary, 31 August - 3 September 2022. I am really surprised by this, given archaeologists' concern about social and political issues as the modern world context in which the discipline functions. It is symptomatic that the EAA Executive Board has only issued "a response to concerns about the LGBTQA+ policy of the host country" but apparently there is no mention of any of the other policies of this problematic populistic central European regime.

Orban and the Fidesz party are part of the european shift towards illiberalism and indeed are among its more prominent manifestations. For some time now this far-right nationalist regime has been implementing reforms of the judiciary, media ($$$% of which is now under its direct control) and civil society, this has brought Hungary many times into conflicts with the European Union over values (all while pocketing EU money). The "illiberal democracy" agenda of the regime is seen as posing a significant threat to Western democratic norms.

Like several others in the region (Poland, Russia), the authoritarian state casts itself as the protector of traditional — read Christian — European values.

Orban’s government has maintained that Hungary is in great peril from hordes of migrants massing on its borders, and as a result he has been spouting increasingly nationalist and xenophobic rhetoric.
"There is a world in which European peoples are mixed together with those arriving from outside Europe. Now that is a mixed-race world," he told an annual gathering of tens of thousands of admirers at Baile Tusnad in Romania in July. "And there is our world, where people from within Europe mix with one another… in the Carpathian Basin we are not mixed-race: we are simply a mixture of peoples living in our own European homeland."
Since the beginning of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Hungary has repeatedly stated that they will not provide weapons to help Ukraine fight the aggressor nor allow the transit of weapons through its territory in order to not to enter into conflict with Russia. UPDATE 2.09.2022
Anglophone archaeo-social media seem pretty quite about this, one professor from Aarhus notes: " I saw an image of a huge, open air reception on the ?first night and just wondered how this is all being financed and what propaganda uses such images can play in normalizing what is going on there". But then, Denmark is in the EU, while isolationist islanders from off the coast of Europe can so easily treat these issues as unimportant to them.

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