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OPEN Backstage

Have you ever taken a sneak peak behind the stage? Don’t miss the talk of the city: OPEN Backstage launched in 2019 is all about bringing the OPEN community together with a variety of engaging performances and thought-provoking talks around diversity and inclusion. This exclusive regular event series aims to cover spectacular performances as much as important topics such as gender equality, LGBTQ+ inclusion, disability awareness and the challenges Roma people face. The events can feature artistic performances, screenings, inspirational speakers and many more unexpected happenings.  And beyond that – it’s the perfect place to expand your network and create new friendships! 

OPEN Backstage also features Executive Events for senior leadership where the main discussions shall be on shaping diversity and inclusion as an open community.

OPEN Backstage events are the meeting point for the members of the Supporting Circle. In certain cases, some seats might be available for the wider public, friends of WeAreOpen or the OPEN Community as well. Since 90+% of the seats at OPEN Backstage events go to the members of WeAreOpen’s Supporting Circle, if you would like to make sure that you and your colleagues can attend future OPEN Backstage events, we kindly encourage you to ensure your company has joined the Circle.

WeAreOpen’s annual sponsors are automatically part of the Circle and companies may opt for a Supporting Circle Member status so that they can be involved, too. 

Upcoming OPEN Backstage Details

S01E07: Roma Inclusion

This time our wonderful guests will have the opportunity to see Gypsy Hungarian a theatre act by the T6 ensemble. The play is about the Roma and Hungarian identity: from everyday experiences to negative discrimation, that the creators are determined to raise awareness to. The Gypsy Hungarian play is performed by Franciska Farkas, Norbert Varga, Cristopher Pászik, Edmond Oláh and Rómeó Pápai or Kristóf Horváth in a double cast role, written by Kristóf Horváth, Ádám Császi together with the T6 ensemble, choreographed by Krisztián Gergye, and directed by Ádám Császi.

Following the performance the audience of OPEN Backstage will have the privilege to see the national premiere of T6’s latest video for the first time!

Finally, as part of the program we will have a round table discussion with our special guests: Franciska Farkas actress, Kristóf Horváth actor and director, Ádám Császi director and Dr. Mária Bogdán media researcher whose main research interest is related to media representation, the modern forms of racism and the questions of diversity.

Previous OPEN Backstage Events

S01E06: Executive Forum

For the second year running, Sziget Festival, one of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe and a long time member of the OPEN Community hosted the first OPEN Backstage Executive Event in August. Senior leaders and colleagues of Supporting Members of WeAreOpen were taken on a backstage tour of the most open locations at the Festival. 

As part of the cooperation, the WeAreOpen logo was visible on the Festival website next to the open stages. At several locations of the festival we had molinós with lyrics from this year’s perfomers to show that diversity is already in the music of the island. 

We thank Sziget for this amazing experience and hope to see them again next year!

S01E05: Inclusion of people with disabilities

The 5th edition of OPEN Backstage was all about the visibility of disabled people in everyday life, in physical and virtual space beyond representation. What are the reasons that people with disabilities are not just less represented in science, media and culture but also less visible in everyday life? What is the relation between virtual and physical space and how is it influenced by our living environment? These were the main topics we will discussed with our special guests of the evening, Nóra Winkler and Tünde Topor.

Nóra Winkler is working in arts and culture, she is a communications consultant and organizing host of film, literature and art related events. She works as an auctioneer, writer and moderator. Tünder Topor is the editor-in-chef of Artmagazin, she is also an art consultant for many private and public art collections, and the leading art consultant of the Palace of Arts. They were joined by Zoltán Fenyvesi affectionately known as Zoli. Zoli is physically disabled due to a medical malpractice at birth, but that never stopped him from sports, travelling and an acting career. Zoli participated in the New York and Berlin marathons, multiple Budapest based competitions and has featured in films and television commercials. as well. 

Finally, Krisztina Somogyi environmental psychologist joined the panel as well to further discuss our main topic from environmental psychology point of view. Krisztina Somogyi is a PhD graduate at ELTE PPK’s Psychology department, her field of research is understanding the similarities and differences between architect and layman’s approaches.

S01E04: Pre Pride Special Edition

On Pride week we organized a special edition of OPEN Backstage to celebrate LGBTQ people and to warm up for the Pride march with drinks and fascinating discussions. This time we teamed up Société Budapest at their spectacular location to create a night to remember. We took a look in the mirror, from two angles. First, we zoomed out and looked at what we were doing, and why: how a company or an organization could support the LGBTQ community, what is the importance of your participation. Then we zoomed in to learn more about how representation matters, we looked at self-expression, identity, and even fashion! We also had a fun dress code for the event: guests could wear either color of the official Pride flag! 

Our special guests of the night were Kata Oltai art historian & curator, Gergő Batai aka Geri Glam makeup & drag artist, Kiss Tibor designer & co-founder of Je suis belleand makeup artist Eszter Magyar. Kata Oltai made a fantastic presentation of LGBTQ+ identity and representation in arts and culture, followed by a discussion with our amazing guests moderated by WeAreOpen’s Melinda Miklós. Following the brilliant talks we had drinks and music: Société’s wonderful venue even lighted up in rainbow colors designed by Hungarian artist Erik Mátrai.

S01E03: Where’s the woman’s place? - Women in pop culture

What exactly is the female gaze: how do women see the world behind the lense? The upcoming edition of OPEN Backstage is all about gender balance, and most of all the representation of women and the female perspective in visual and popular culture. The evening will feature a handful of fascinating, original and provocative creative content and arts to demonstrate how pop culture can either challenge or uphold gender stereotypes. We will set up an interactive round table featuring Veronika Hermann research fellow, Éva Szombat photographer and Laura Döbrösi actress moderated by WeAreOpen CEO Melinda Miklós.

About our guests:

The Handmaid’s tale? Doktor House, or Don Juan? Please welcome your guide in blockbuster culture phenomenon: Veronika Hermann, adjunct professor and research fellow at ELTE Institute for Art Theory and Media Studies focused on contemporary literature and popular culture theories. Her engaging presentation will definitely put the woman’s place in new perspective – in pop culture that is.

“Kitsch is the art of happiness” must be the unofficial manifesto of Éva Szombat Hungarian photographer, who sees glamour in each detail of everyday life from plastic frogs to dolphin lamps. Her signature kitsch centric photos are featured in international magazines such as Vogue Spain, Neon, Vice and Huffington Post.
You can check out her super cool works on her website.

The confident, young talent: Laura Döbrösi is one of the coolest Hungarian actresses out there, working in the film industry since the age of 10 with multiple projects in both music and theatre. Her diverse talent met fame through her iconic role in the groundbreaking Hungarian television phenomena, Aranyélet. This year Laura was honored with Glamour Hungary’s Women of The Year award for best actress.

S01E02: Hidden Stories

S01E02: Hidden Stories? was all about LGBTQ representation in arts and culture from theatre to literature and beyond! We were joined by our special guests TV journalist Alinda Veiszer, Stage Director at Katona József Theatre Kriszta Székely and Professor of Linguistics, translator and poet Ádám Nádasdy. Some may remember Kriszta and Ádám from Budapest Pride where both have delivered the opening speech in the past. After a discussion with our guests, improvisational theatre Grundwill performed their spectacular live performance “Taking you home”, a play based on everyday experiences such as the first date of a same-sex couple.

This edition of OPEN Backstage was hosted by Saatchi & Saatchi at their beautiful office. Guests included representatives from BlackRock, Coca-Cola, Morgan Stanley, Prezi and Saatchi & Saatchi. Some snacks and wine were served before the event as the guests mingled.



The first ever episode of OPEN Backstage featured the screening of the phenomenal Hungarian movie, “One Day”, directed by Zsófia Szilágyi who was also present at the event. Following the screening, Zsófia was joined in a discussion with Dávid Szél, psychologist, blogger at Apapara blog and Glamour Hungary editor-in-chief Krisztina Maróy, where they spoke about the making of the movie, the inspiration behind it, and what it means to be a working woman while balancing the responsibilities at home. The role of parents and workplace related issues in Hungary, and possibly beyond, were also discussed.

OPEN Backstage S01E01 was hosted by HPS at their wonderful event space, HPS Kult Salon which proved to be the perfect setting for our guests which included representatives from Google, Citi, Morgan Stanley, IBM and Shell to further interact with each other over some snacks and champagne.