2014. augusztus 2., szombat

Yes, Szimpla Kert is ten years old!

If I had to recall the year 2004 in detail I assume I would not be able to do that. But I remember the first night I spent in Szimpla Kert very well. Maybe it was the second night after the opening, there very extremely many people. I had a feeling that there in that very second or at least hour or day something was really happening and the things in the city would never again be the same as they used to be. I felt that something had started and there it could be felt already that it was good, people loved it and there was need for this to start. Of course, there have already been places in the neighbourhood, pubs and other entertainment venues also, but as the other Szimpla Kert, which was opened at the other end of Kazinczy Street in 2002, closed it was obvious that it cannot stay this way. And it did not. The first strong influence on everybody who entered the garden at 14 Kazinczy Street was that of the huge space and how complex it is. Of course, there were not so many counters, the walls were not decorated by figurines, a dozen televisions, there were not any plants hanging from the walls or the upper floor, there was no shisha shop, neither wine bar, market on Sundays, not even concerts or either all night long screenings, bicycle fairs, cinema or theatre – simply a place came alive that was organised differently than the previous ones. And after some time the answer to the questions: Is it possible to finance a sub-culture on market basis, to survive hopeless constructions, to manage a kitchen in a balanced way, to show self-made films in the garden cinema, to organise animation film festivals and such things, the answer was yes and has been ever since.

I feel that – including that I am also a little part of this story – everybody who created Szimpla and than shaped, formed, improved or simply let it go in its own way, on its own track and to make it own way which is natural, they are all started it with pleasure and determination.

This place became ten years old, the Szimpla has not only been a place in the last decade not only a ruin pub but a cinema, where you could see the coolest animation movies and short films; a concert hall where anybody could listen to bands like Kéknyúl, the Vanmocsello, the Barabás Lőrinc Quartet, the Egy Kiss Erzsi Zene, and the Butterfly Effect, etc; a cultural centre, theatre place, where the city’s only read-aloud theatre is run; meeting point of non-governmental organisations; information point, bicycle rental, and the city’s best farmers’ market and so on; I would not be able to collect everything that Szimpla Kert is.

Yes, the Szimpla Kert became ten years
 old. So many things have happened in these years, many things were borni inside and outside the building and we also had some losses. There was somebody who worked here with us for almost three years; who renewed the place in several respects with his attitude, actions and activities and his creativity. He is Gábor Kátai, who is not with us anymore but he is always going to be a part of Szimpla and we think about him with everlasting love. For him, freedom was the most important.

Freedom, this is closely related to Szimpla. So many people have showed up here, many have gotten an opportunity, organised programs, opened exhibitions, taken part in jamming sessions, have worked for Szimpla in lot of different way, we have focused on so many different communal issues, given place to non-governmental organisations, fortunately. we believe that Szimpla can continue with this attitude and these kind of activities in the next ten years, and you will love it as you did in the last ten years. We could list the details and highlights for a long time but instead let the pictures tell you about this period: 

 photos made by Todoroff Lázár és Szöllősi Mátyás

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