Even though the Silk Road Society is a rather new association in its own right, we hosted our very first event in Brody Studios 12-14 May 2014. We through the event together in a short time frame but considering this was a test drive for future events – we’re proud to say it was a great success!
First, we’d like to thank our sponsors The Travel Scientists for funding most of the event and for bringing a selection of Armenian wine and snacks to provide at the festival, and also to Hachapuri Georgian Restaurant for not only catering the inaugural dinner, but also titillated our tastebuds with a Georgian food tasting on the second day and a wonderful wine tasting event on the final night.
With a three-day exhibition showcasing both the work of fine art from Uzbek artists Lekim Ibragimov, Gayrat Igragimov and Said Shamirbaev, courtesy of the Vollnhofer ArtStudio, and Romanian-born Armenian artist Ermone Zabel Martaian, who attended the exhibition in person.
Additionally, the exhibition also featured work from Tamás Németh, a Hungarian photographer whose work focussed on travel through the Caucasus region, most notably Georgia and Nagorno Karabakh, and work from Polish travel photographer and blogger, Lukasz Supergan, with excellent photos featuring Central Asia.
The three-day festival featured notable speakers who participated in the event. The inaugural dinner welcomed special guest Professor Levon Chookaszian from Yerevan State University, who is also the UNESCO Chair of Art History. His talk touched on the subject of “Armenian medieval textiles throughout the centuries”, to a full room down in the Brody Studios’ screening room.
After the dinner Dr. János Sipos, a senior researcher at the Institute of Musicology (MTA) and lecture in the folk music department of the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy, gave an introductory talk to the evening’s concert. His work focuses on the comparative analysis of Turkic people, from Turkey, Azerbaijan and Central Asia, and the discussion, with musical accompanyment, linked Hungarian music to those originating in Central Asia.
The evening wrapped up with a magical concert whisking those in attendance away on the Silk Road with songs from Turkey, Uzbekistan and Mongolia by Majda Mária Guessous and the Mesi Trio.
Other featured speakers for the rest of the festival included Jennifer Walker, our Secretary General from the Silk Road Society, who worked as a journalist in Tbilisi, Georgia and wrote a series of articles on Georgian art history in collaboration with local art historians. She opened the second day with a talk on “The Evolution of Georgian Art”.
This was complemented by a short speech by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Hungary, H.E. Dr. Zaza Kandelaki. The casual speech on Georgia’s Hungarian relations and introduction to the country took place in an intimate setting, followed by a question and answer session that lead into the Georgian food tasting.
Day three’s featured speaker was Dr. Ágnes Birtalan, the Head of Department for the Department of Inner Asian Studies at ELTE, who specialises in the study of Mongolian ethnic groups and has two decades of field work experience. Her talk on “The Great Mongolian Empire – the first attempt at globalisation” was well-received, turning the presentation into an interactive conversation between Dr. Birtalan and the audience.
The festival saw a spectucular turn out considering the short time we had to put it together. On behalf of the Silk Road Society, we’d like to offer a big thank you to: Brody Studios, Hachapuri, The Travel Scientists, Vollnhofer ArtStudio, Ermone Zabel Martaian, Tamás Németh, Lukasz Supergan, Shahin Ghoreishi, Majda Mária Guessous, Dr. János Sipos, Prof. Levon Chookaszian, Dr. Ágnes Birtalan, The Embassy of Georgia to Hungary, CEU’s Department for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, the Department of Central Asian Research in ELTE, Achik Oganova, The Budapest Times, TheDaily.hu, Funzine, Xpatloop, Expats Hungary and of course the volunteers who helped out on behalf of the Silk Road Society!
We hope to host other events in the future focussing on other countries. Interested in hearing the latest news? Sign up to become a member and we’ll send you the latest in events and stories.