Turning against Orbán: how to fight authoritarianism

Dit programma is onderdeel van de Vrijheidslezing

Programme editor
Together with author and politician Zsuzsanna Szelényi, we’ll discuss the turn that Hungary has taken towards conservatism and authoritarianism. When did the decline in women’s- and LGBTIQ+ rights start, how is that a bigger part of the turn that the whole of Europe is taking at the moment, and what can we do?

Zsuzsanna Szelényi is a Hungarian author, politician, and foreign policy expert. She is the Director of the Democracy Institute Leadership Academy for Central and Eastern Europe. Her book Tainted Democracy, Viktor Orban and the Subversion of Hungary was published in 2022. She served as Member of the Parliament (MP) from 1990 to 1994 (Fidesz) and from 2014 to 2018 (Together).

Freethinker Festival is part of Amsterdam 750 years. On 27 October 2025, Amsterdam will be 750 years old and in the run-up to this milestone, various programmes, including Freethinker Festival, will be organised to celebrate.

About the Freedom Lecture

Freedom is something that we in the Netherlands typically take for granted. Four times a year, De Balie invites someone who knows from personal experience what it means not to be free. We want to share their stories, spread their message, and learn from their struggle. In the series, De Balie has welcomed freedom fighters like Egyptian writer and activist Nawal el Saadawi, Ugandan LGBT activist Frank Mugisha, and Hungarian journalist Veronika Munk.


Zsuzsanna SzelényiHungarian author, politician, foreign policy expert
Kati PiriDutch Parliamentarian (PvdA-Groenlinks)

In Hongarije kan het altijd extremer, zag zij van dichtbij: ‘Orbán heeft een radicale persoonlijkheid’De Volkskrant