Meet the Team Interview: Bulcsú Hunyadi, Veronika Szontagh and Zsuzsa Kelen
Meet Bulcsú, Vera, and Zsuzsi, who work for Political Capital and lead Work Package 2 of the BOND project.
Firstly, tell us a bit about your organization
Political Capital, an independent policy research, analysis and consulting institute, aims to promote critical political thinking and an increased understanding of politics. It also aims to raise awareness about political issues that have an impact on citizen’s everyday life and contribute to and develop critical knowledge and evidence-based public discourse and policy-making. The institute’s main focus areas are disinformation and malign foreign (authoritarian) influence, conspiracy theories and fake news, radicalisation and extremism, the state of democracy, and Hungary’s foreign policy and efforts to build international political influence.
What is the motivation behind your organization getting involved in the BOND project?
Stereotypes, prejudices and attitudes of society towards minority groups have been a key focus of Political Capital’s work for a long time. As the radicalisation and extremism programme of the institute primarily deals with issues and topics related to the far right, several research papers have already been published, and projects have been done focusing on antisemitism and antigypsyism. Thus, getting involved in the BOND project, on the one hand, fits well with the profile and interest of the institute. On the other hand, working with great partners for such an important cause is always motivating. We believe it is important to implement projects in Hungary that fight against prejudices, stand up for the rights of vulnerable minority groups, and foster dialogue.
How is BOND different from other projects that are facilitating interfaith and intercultural dialogue?
BOND puts a special emphasis on education and involving youth in its activities. Hence, it also channels their experiences into interfaith and intercultural dialogue sessions and contributes to a deeper understanding among future generations.
What do you hope to achieve through the project?
Our main goal is to increase awareness about antisemitism and other forms of group-focused enmity among young people and to work with them to combat, reduce and prevent these phenomena, and to bring different religious and ethnic communities closer to each other.
What do you see is the greatest challenge for fostering understanding and tolerance between different religious communities?
The greatest challenge in Hungary is the limited scale of effective practices in this field. However, as many different religious communities are already cooperating on a local level, we are optimistic in this regard.
What do you personally find most interesting about the BOND project?
It is always interesting to work with international partners, and doing comparative research in several countries gives and produces a broader overview and knowledge on the related issues.