Twelve to Make Peace

Simulation game restaging the Treaty of Trianon

As a part of project War of Memories we restaged the peace conference of Trianon with the participation of seven secondary school history teachers, five art professionals, and with the contribution of Gergely Kispál (actor) and Tehnica Schweiz on the basis of the simulation game developed by Planpolitik.

This simulation game was developed as an experiment in the search for a participatory format for the discussion of local memory politics. In Hungarian public opinion “Trianon” signifies the peace treaty Hungary was obliged to sign after WWI, the traumatic memory of which has been passed onto following generations. We applied a game-format, "planspiel"—which is to create a didactically simplified decision-making situation in which participants take on the roles of relevant actor—to restage this historical event. It is a method of learning by doing, and is often applied in problem-solving education. adapted a simulation game format originally developed for the Paris Peace Conference by the Berlin based planpolitik group, but with an important alteration. While the original game focused on the opposition of the winner and defeated great powers as well as the tensions between the players’ differing real and assumed nationalities, the planspiel unpacked the problematics and the contradicting definitions of nation states in the Central-East European region. The participants are all Hungarian, but come from very different backgrounds, which are then blurred by their equal motivation to experience this historical event as a game.

The project is a methodological experiment, introducing political education in a playful way, and approaching historical trauma by looking critically at historical facts and “acting out” revisionist and chauvinist sentiments instead of suppressing them.

Curators: Dóra Hegyi, Zsuzsa László
Project Manager: Zsóka Leposa
Adviser, moderator of the game: Gergely Kispál

Participants of the simulation game:

Nóra Baracs, history teacher, Pécs
Géza Barta, history teacher, Vári (Ukraine)
Beáta Burkus, history teacher, Csap/Chop (Ukraine)
Róbert Tamás Farkas, history teacher, Pécs
Miklós Frei, history teacher, Budapest
Tamás Liszka, media artist, Budapest
Anna Menyhért, writer, literary critic, Budapest
Szilárd Miklós, artist, Budapest and Cluj (Romania)
Csaba Módos, history teacher, Budapest
Emese Mucsi, independent curator, editor, Budapest
Eszter Neuberger, journalist, Budapest
Júlia Salamon, curator, Budapest
Zsolt Zsigmond, history teacher, Budapest

The artist group Tehnica Schweiz (Gergely László, Péter Rákosi) collaborated in staging and documenting this two-day process. The film and the setting was produced in cooperation between and Tehnica Schweiz (Gergely László, Péter Rákosi).

Photos of the event by Péter Rákosi

The simulation game played at is the adaptation of “Renegotiating Peace. Versailles and Beyond” which was developed by Planpolitik (Berlin) in 2014.

The program series War of Memories is part of the project FORMER WEST, Culminating Phase: Edits, Annotations, Proposals project supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.