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BALATORIUM—the laboratory of Lake Balaton

The last weekend of August is all about the fragile Lake Balaton. BALATORIUM ecological x cultural weekend 26-28 August 2022 in Tihany and Örvényes.

What is BALATORIUM?

In a nutshell: a cooperation between researchers and creators for Lake Balaton.

The BALATORIUM program of the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture (VEB2023 ECOC) is a series of community events in which artists and researchers together, using the tools of ecological art, initiate a dialogue on the most important environmental challenges faced by Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe. Supported by the VEB2023 ECOC, the program series aims to make the lake’s complex ecosystem visible through cultural events and to contribute to the social dialogue on vital issues affecting the future of Lake Balaton. 

A number of experts, researchers, and research institutes, including the Balaton Limnological Research Institute, the Balaton-Highlands National Park Directorate, and the Limnology Research Group of the University of Pannonia, have been involved in the development of the program concept coordinated by the PAD Foundation.

What is ecology? What does it have to do with Lake Balaton?

Ecology is the study of habitats and the relationship between living organisms and the environment. From this point of view, Lake Balaton is not only a lake but a complex habitat whose activities are also heavily influenced by humans. Overall, Lake Balaton and the surrounding catchment area, which is about ten times larger, is a landscape actively shaped and influenced by humans. The role we play in this complex system matters: upsetting the delicate balance of the ecosystem affects our lives too. The well-being and vitality of Lake Balaton are in our common interest, and we must act to maintain it.

But what can I do?

Alongside researchers, we can all do a lot to preserve and shape the environmental state of the lake and the region, for instance by rethinking our own needs, by putting the needs of the natural environment first, or by finding information from credible sources. The programs of the BALATORIUM Ecological x Cultural Weekend aim to bring the ecological approach to Lake Balaton and the adaptive, conscious use of the lake and the landscape into everyday life.

Experiential learning

The programs of the BALATORIUM Ecological x Cultural Weekend present the ecological challenges of the Lake Balaton region in a diverse and accessible way. There will be talks on water quality, reed beds, the lake’s microscopic organisms (such as algae) and their relationship to climate change, the impact of ecological farming in the Lake Balaton catchment areas, the importance of soil organisms, the wooded grasslands of the Balaton-Highlands and much more! Throughout the program, researchers will work with artists to explore the issues and challenges of the lake in an immersive way.  You can learn more about the water quality of Lake Balaton while riding on the human-powered watercraft made for the event or sample the delicacies of the ALGABAR created by szabadonbalaton. You can also see for the first time the innovative installation created by students of the MOME Institute of Architecture, a modern community space, an exhibition space, and an educational venue at the same time.

What is pasture imprinting?  In one of SLOWWALK’s slow-moving landscape tours, we get a glimpse of the world of plants and grazing animals. During a slow landscape walk, we take a break from our hectic everyday lives to observe the landscape and the creatures that live in it. See photos from the June SLOWWALK event here.

Our main partners in the BALATORIUM program are PAD Foundation, szabadonbalaton, MOME, Balaton-Highlands National Park Directorate, Balaton Limnological Research Institute, University of Pannonia, Bakony-Balaton Environmental Education Center Association.

All residents and holidaymakers who love Lake Balaton are welcome to the BALATORIUM ecological x cultural weekend 2022 on 26 August at the Balaton Limnological Research Institute and on 27-28 August at the Örvényes Open Beach.

The BALATORIUM ecological x cultural weekend is organized by the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture, as part of the BALATORIUM project, coordinated by the PAD Foundation.

The detailed program of the BALATORIUM ecological x cultural weekend can be found here.


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