projects uncategorized


By Nikolett Pataki

– This is it, can’t wait to move in! What’s that face?

– I’m really not sure what I want anymore.

– What do you mean? The contract is here, we paid for the solicitors and this place ticks most of our boxes from the list! We took it slowly, I agreed to be patient with you and we had 6 months to change our mind. Are you listening to me at all?

– Yes, I know it all, my mind knows it all. It’s just my heart.

– What about it? Talk to me!

– I can’t do it.

– Do what? What can you not do exactly?

– This whole thing, moving in with you, buying a house, settling down, having a normal life…

– But that’s what we did so far! We were basically living together and that’s how we came to this conclusion, don’t you remember?

– I do. It’s just, I can’t force myself

– You don’t have to, it’s step by step, a slow process and this is the last bit

– Yes but if we sign this we need to be in for at least 25 years.

– I thought that’s what you wanted, to be together for even more time than that?

– Yes, if it’s now.

– What do you mean?

– I mean if we don’t take time into account just flowing through life, you know like rowing your boat.

– Down the stream, don’t start again!

– I’m sorry. I just can’t do it.

– Is it still the abyss?

– Yes. It’s heavy.

– It’s okay, I just, I just think stability actually would help.

– Maybe not, maybe nothing can help.

– Don’t say that, you haven’t had any episodes for –

– For 13 months, I know. And I really appreciate your presence in my life. I just can’t give you that cheerful easy going person you deserve and I used to be.

– Don’t say that, I love you just the way you are!

– Blah, blah, blah.

– OK, listen, it’s not just you in this, okay, I’m here too! And we, together, did this so far and got here and made the list and –

– I don’t care, I’m sorry.

– What? You can’t be serious!

– Listen, you did beyond imagination and I can’t be grateful enough to you. But this whole buying-a-house process somehow made me realise that this is not what I want

– Ok, so you want another –

– No, I don’t want another house or any house. I want myself!

– But I thought –

– No, listen to me! With you I was the traumatised person who needed extra care, I don’t want that anymore, I don’t want the need for special treatment and I don’t want always to be reminded how lucky I am with you.

– But –

– I know you never say this but you make me feel like it! And no, please do not try to understand, that’s exactly what I hate. Just leave me the f*ck alone.

– Wow! I really don’t know what to say now –

– Nothing, there’s no need to say anything. Just please let me go.

– You were always free, you don’t owe me anything.

– Please don’t make this hard!

– I’m not. I was just hoping that one day you’d see that.

– See what?

– Me.

– What do you mean?

– Listen, this whole story has been around you all the time, your trauma, your anxiety, your studies and –

– See that’s what I mean, I’m broken!

– No, you’re not! Not more than any other person on this bloody planet

– Wow!

– Yes, and I think you need to hear that and get out of your head and

– And what ?

– Listen, I know what you’re trying to do here and it won’t work. I know how to fight for you yet I’m ready to let you go. You need to make a decision now. Not about the house or me or even us, but yourself. You need that, and this is all in you!

– OK

– OK what?

– I understand, just please don’t make me speak now. Can you hug me, please?

projects uncategorized


by Rita Sebestyen

There is lipstick on the glass.

Streetwalker is thirsty.

But there is lipstick on the brim of the glass, and there is a black smidgen floating on the top of the water in there.

‘Can you please print me the catalogue of the other flat, too? You know, the one you said I might also be interested in.’

The agent is very unhappy with all these special requests. First the cup of water and now the catalogues to be printed. The agent struggles with Streetwalker’s accent, too. The agent does not want to struggle.

Wide windows filled with pictures of derelict houses on sale.

Two patrols are passing by on their horses.

‘This is the worst time, really’ the agent sparks a conversation, ‘The day of the match.’

‘Yeah’ Streetwalker cannot raise their eyes from the water tightly embraced by that dirty-lipstick-y glass, burdened with the black morsel like a mouldy cherry on the top of the cake in a twisted tale. The water, the one that could bring some sweet relief, is imprisoned in between.

The agent gathers that there will be no quiet, no peace until some service is given.

‘So, the second one… you have not seen that yet… that can be converted into a two-bedroom flat.’

Streetwalker sighs.

The water sits unnerved in the dirt. Catch me if you can.

‘I can call you when it’s available for viewing.’

‘Right,’ Streetwalker has reached to a decision. ‘Call me when the owner is ready.’ Deep sigh. One long step to the door. ‘Bye.’

‘The water!’ yells the agent with a suddenly risen hospitality.

Streetwalker shut the door behind their back, ‘No thanks’.

projects uncategorized

Native Grass

by Gigi Guizado

Tired as withered leaves on frosted trees

Blue as wide sky awash in white

Determined as native grass reaching for golden rays

We both know this season will pass

projects uncategorized

the platform 2023


Judit Hajdu. Hungarian psychotherapist living in Scotland. Interested in the narratives of people, marginalised or in authority, living ‘everyday’ or ‘exciting’ lives, including prisoners who are always left out of most lists.

Gigi Guizado.  Bilingual American actor, literary translator, poet working in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and London. Feminism, mental health, and cultural diversity are themes in her work.

Nikolett Pataki. Hungarian expat living in the UK. A curious mind with some background in sociology and psychology. Experienced in charity work and research.

Attila Budaházi. Edinburgh based dramaturg, theatre director, story shaper. Works with hidden connections and stories behind the real world, beneath the surface, parallel realities, dreamscape, multiverse, time travel, and butterfly effect.

Rita Sebestyén. Has lived in Romania, Hungary, Denmark and the UK. Works with object-based storytelling, modelling sustainable societies, and community creation.

photo: Zoltán Sylvester

art uncategorized

Letter to a Clone Manufacturer


Link to the event: click here.

The event on the 25th September 2021 was part of the official selection of the International Translation Day by the English PEN and the National Centre for Writing.

Conception: Rita Sebestyen and Gigi Guizado.

This is a short and semantically multi-layered play which tackles gender and power-issues in a situation set on the verge of the post Anthropocene world. In spite of the grim topic, the irony and the possible plot-twists will save us from immersing ourselves into dystopia.

The intrinsic complexity of the piece does not stop at simply tackling the stereotypes of our societies, but also mischievously plays with the possibilities of swapping roles, until the very end. The last couple of seconds are left open to the readers’/spectators’ interpretation as well.

We found it especially intriguing to have the piece translated from English into Hungarian and see how different cultures, languages, conceptions, ages, genders will affect this endless game of fascinatingly diverse interpretations.

Just a couple of questions that occurred during the English and Hungarian rehearsed readings and open discussions at the event:

  • What circumstances lead to de-humanisation?
  • How objectification reflects back on the perpetrator?
  • How our intelligence and emotional intelligence is shaped by our circumstances?
  • How AI might translate, interpret and react to our languages and feelings?
  • Will the present status quo be challenged at a certain point in the future? How? By whom?

For a full-rounded cultural and linguistic experience, we kindly advise you to watch both the Hungarian and English versions, and taste the exquisite palette of the re-framing and interpretation of the artists.

We are all looking forward to reserching further approaches, re-readings, interpretations, translations and designs of this piece.

Cast performing in English:

Daniela Cristo Mantilla and Angel Mendoza

Cast performing in Hungarian:

Éva Bandor and Ádám Tompa

Translation by: Rita Sebestyén.

Carta a un Fabricante de Clones

Following the positive responses of our International Translation Day event, also the manifold possible interpretations of the text, we managed to arrange a second event, where further gender, age, culture and language-related nuances came to the forefront.

This time we discussed how non-binary cast might affect the language and the socio-cultural representation and interpretation of the same text.

Spanish is a gendered language – along with many other Romance Languages -, where substantives and pronouns have defined binary expressions for centuries. As opposed to the English gender-neutral pronoun ‘they’, which is already existent in the language, in Spanish the ending X, with its different pronunciations, are new addenda to the common language and its use requires constant attention from the part of the speaker or writer.

We also observed how changing certain aspects and angles of the interpretation, such as cultural background, language, gender, age will always lead to certain dichotomies and power-unbalances. However, approaching the text, the situation and the characters from a more generic, non-hierarchal and de-colonial point of view, we see how any kind of othering leads to a new power-struggle, leading to a multiplication of the colonial structure. A new, all-encompassing socio-cultural structure would be needed to reframe these dichotomies into eye-level dialogues.

Cast performing in Spanish:

Adriana Chavez (she/her/they/them) and Cinthia Lilen (they/she)

Translation by: Gigi Guizado.

research uncategorized

Action Research

‘IF’: Planning, Research and Co-creation of an Existential Installation-performance

See full art and science research article:

ABSTRACT: In her article “‘IF’: Planning, Research and Co-creation of an Existential Installa-tion-performance” Rita Sebestyén offers an account of the research period and perfor-mances of the experimental, action-research based and interdisciplinary performance ‘IF’. The installation-performance was co-created by a group of Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Hungarian artists, and conceived and produced for an international au-dience. ‘IF’ poses a series of existential questions throughout four interactive installa-tions that allow the audience to interact and become co-creators of the performance, together with the performer-facilitator. Using biology, anthropology, mathematics, elements of gamification, sociology and futurology, this performance is a cross-dis-ciplinary and cross-genre experience, and its research cycles are of both scientific and artistic interest, as the author points it out. Keywords: art and science, performative pedagogy, gamification, co-creation, action research.

Photo by: Stine Ebbesen

IF is a cross-over genre: a participative performance using four interac-tive installations that invite the audience into different levels of action and interaction, by choosing life-circumstances: gender, lifespan, friends, relations, society and future. A performer leads the whole game of ex-istence, orientating the audience among the rules of the games; reacts and responds to their actions, and, at well-defined moments, acts out roles related to the four stages-installations. The stages are construct-ed around four different algorithms, which gradually lead the audience from strict rules to choices, this way giving the opportunity to them to take the performance over, step by step. Participants can choose at each stage the level of their activity from watching to acting, and can de-cide on the gender, lifespan, personal characteristics. They receive small human figures as avatars to represent their game-selves in this parallel world. In this specific space, the audience and the performer, even the light- and sound designer can freely mingle, without being confined by the classical partition of stage and auditorium. The first stage is a small laboratory: a microscope placed on a white glass table and connected to a computer. The samples placed under the microscope can be observed magnified on the screen of the computer. The second stage is a min-iature garden on a big size round mirror: soil, small stones, water and plants can be placed and arranged on it. Later on, the five-six centime-tres tall human figures will be placed here. The third stage seems to be a playground with five societal hardships, written in chalk on the ground, which, during the performance, will come alive similarly to a manipu-lative TV-show, with red and white elastic lightbulbs. The fourth stage is a transparent plastic cube, filled with water. Here, at the end of the game-performance, the participants will decide how and who can be saved from the former hardships and go towards the hope of smoother waves. We provide the audience with a set of rules at each stage to build a parallel identity, community, society, and their own interwoven nar-ratives. The performer oscillates between the role of an actor and that of a facilitator. From this phase we started researching together with various audiences. Due to the multitude of artistic and scientific fields included in our work, in the following I will refer exclusively to prima-ry literature. Further description proceeds along the following steps: 1) Research environment concerning venue, community, terminology and the text of the performance, 2) Research method including planning, action and evaluation and finally, 3) The outlook towards a new episte-mology of collaborative performances.

uncategorized workshops

norwich 2020

Online storytelling and community building workshops

We had the pleasure of welcoming Rita Sebestyen, PhD, to Wellbeing Wednesdays, an inclusive, online platform of weekly sessions and activities run through Zoom designed to follow the 5 steps to wellbeing: connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give.

Rita delivered two online sessions for our programme during May and June 2020. These sessions were interactive workshops, designed to explore how we can talk about our own experiences, boundaries and memories in a safe and comfortable way, using relational storytelling exercises. 

The participants in the online sessions were largely unknown to each other, and very few have ever met in person. The gradual rhythm of her sessions, and the clear and slow paced instructions, enabled participants to slow their own rhythm and focus their minds. Using techniques to move sideways through experience and memory, Rita enabled participants to explore personal storytelling in an accessible and inclusive form. Her structured but adaptable sessions empowered participants to feel in control over their own journey during the sessions, reflecting on their own boundaries, memories and stories. 

An engaged and attentive facilitator, Rita leads her workshops with respect and presence, responding whole-heartedly to each participant’s story and fully incorporating everyone’s contributions. Her broad knowledge and cross-disciplinary approach left participants in awe of her work, and grateful for the opportunity to take part in her temporary and creative community space. 

Melanie Kidd

Wellbeing Wednesdays Coordinator and Higher Education Parent Carer Champion, neaco/University of East Anglia (UEA)


11. 05. 2020. Pendulum



06. 05. 2020. A tile of art

Yufei Xu









I have carried a tile with me, a little bigger than the size of my palm. It had been blank before I lined some cobalt, vermillion, ocher or realgar, and emerald to make it a work of art. It seems to me one of the best from kids’ arts. For the hues I happened to choose for it are as classic as those favored by masters of Chinese watercolors, and the lines are as simple and neat as some of landscape drafts from Rembrandt.

I have carried it with me from my urban origin to New Zealand where I spent one and a half year, and finally took it back to the inland Elysium, Chengdu, where I choose to work. So many other objects come and go in my life hustle. They usually are lost in hectic shippings or broken by use and abuse. No small surprise when I was cued by the fact that my little piece of tile art had survived the metabolism of my belongings, of objects.

How did I make it?

Schools bid the urban young “go mingle with peasants, go experience rural area”. So they make secondary school students in the city go through this education session, that is to get educated by the rural, of around two weeks. I went through the session when I was 14, and it taught me to make rural art. At first the instructor had laid out the procedure of making tile art, we, a bunch of rats who had no idea of drawing anything, were commanded to craft our own version of the artistic design. Easy work: I just copied the pattern on the china pen baskets in the studio. The ancient pattern was transformed into nineteen heads of auspicious clouds floating and taking up two thirds of the tile square. Then I curtailed the pattern into a dozen skewed strikes and stacked them to symbolize a boulder, where a branching pine grows out of it. Yellow or brown for boulder, red for clouds, blue for pine trunk, green for pine needles. The rest was as milk white as the tile itself. Out of the furnace that gave the tile lasting sheen from glaze was this art of mine.

This was how I crafted my Ph.D thesis later. It turned out copying and transforming, with a bit of imagination and brush style. 

Everything has been growing out of the flow and structure I gave for this little tile.

And it looks gorgeous.


03.05.2020. Space Box


Περίμενε υπομονετικά. Με ολόσωστες πλευρές και άκρες κολλημένες με πολύ καλής ποιότητας χαρτοταινία. Πάνω του κολλήθηκε και ένα γράμμα με τα στοιχεία μου και τα στοιχεία του. Ένα αρχείο που επικυρώνει την σχέση μου μαζί του.



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Waiting patiently. With all its sides and edges glued with very good quality paper tape. A letter with my personal info and its details was affixed to it. A file that validates my relationship with it.



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