The BALATORIUM is a flagship ecological-artistic-cultural project of the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture program, based on the concept and organized by the PAD Foundation.
The aim is “to present the ecological context of Lake Balaton and its region through cultural and artistic means and to raise awareness that only together we can contribute to the future of Lake Balaton,” according to a statement by the organizers. The two-year program series culminate in the Ecological – Cultural Week 2023. The organizers of the project will highlight the vulnerability of Lake Balaton through music, talks, workshops, slow landscape walks, art activities and gastronomic programs in as many approaches as possible.
The week's events will start on Saturday, August 19 with an ecological gastronomic event, the BALATORIUM Menu. Restaurants and catering establishments around Lake Balaton, in cooperation with Freebalaton, will offer food and drink tastings that highlight the ecological challenges of the Balaton region, from the raw materials used in the kitchen, to the processes in the lake, to the environmental issues of food supply chains.
Also on Saturday, 19 August, at 15:00 hours, the Voices of Lake Balaton will hold an album launch concert at the Salföld Mine. The BALATORIUM project will feature 12 Hungarian artists who have written songs for the album using the sound samples of Lake Balaton. The concert will feature performances by Дeva, Jazzbois, Wave of Sound, Onakom and Józsi Hegedűs. It's worth arriving well before the concerts, as you can chat to ecologists over algae fizz at the free Balaton bar, or take a slow walk through the landscape.
As part of the BALATORIUM Ecological-Cultural Week, the Balaton Limnological Research Institute will once again hold an open day in Tihany on Friday, August 25. Visitors to the country's largest biological research institute will be able to see the work of the institute, tour the laboratories and the historic building complex, and learn about the lake's native and invasive species. It is not only the researchers who are preparing for the day, artists participating in the BALATORIUM artist-in-residence program will also be exhibiting their work.
Also on August 25, the Hungarian University of Fine Arts will hold an open day at its artists' residence in Tihany. The aim of the contemporary art program is to give visitors an insight into the history and everyday life of the Somogyi József Artists' Colony on the shores of the inner lake of Tihany, and to learn about the different artistic practices and diverse creative processes of the university's students, which are linked to this exceptional location and landscape. The two sites in Tihany are also linked on a program level: a guided walk from the Limnological Research Institute to the Artists' Village will be held from the shores of Lake Balaton.
On August 26 and 27, the organizers of the Ecological - Cultural Weekend are preparing a number of activities on the open beach of Örvényes. You can learn about the ecological challenges of the lake in talks, workshops and children's programs, taste algae spritzer in the bar of Szabadbalaton, read in the beach library, or take a boat ride in watercraft made of reeds and other natural materials. At the 'observation stations', set up for that weekend, you can talk to experts and artists about ecological issues.
Participants will also be invited to take part in SLOWWALK walks along the shore and a tour of the Balaton Friendly Garden project, a model garden in the area. MOME will also be visiting the beach, where guests can learn how students have combined ecological processes with design in the form of installations and data visualizations, and how they have developed educational curricula for secondary school students in cooperation with the Bakony-Balaton Environmental Education Center.