The ninth largest city in Hungary, Székesfehérvár, has submitted a promotional video in its bid for the 2023 European Capitals of Culture contest. The competition is to “celebrate the cultural features Europeans share.”
But the Hungarian promotional video was wholly rejected on the basis that it was too exclusive, featuring folk dancers, young couples, mothers, babies and even two elderly gentlemen playing chess in a park, the city’s mayor Dr András Cser-Palkovics says it showed too many smiling, dancing, white Christians for the EU panel, which wanted to see a more diverse portrayal, notably the migrant population in Hungary.
One of the members of the jury panel that handed down the decision to exclude the city and its promotional video, who is also a Belgian official, criticized the video as “propaganda film for white Christian Europe” because “everyone is white, happy and dancing in the streets.” He said that it portrayed too many “crosses and churches” while omitting “the poor and migrants”
Cser-Palkovics told the Hungarian media at a press conference that “we love our city with our temples and our crosses. We love being safe, calm, and that people can democratically confess their own values.” He also declared that he will seek an official inquiry in the contest’s management.
“I would like to bring the matter before the general assembly and inform all members of the board about the style and content of the hearing as well as about practically denying our own culture.”