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The Life and Times of Red Mud Reservoir № VII

‘The Life and Times of Red Mud Reservoir № VII’ is a collaboration between an anthropologist (Ian M. Cook) and a graphic artist/illustrator (Gyula Németh) about a bauxite tailings storage facility in the settlement of Almásfüzitő, Hungary. The non-public figures who appear in the following pages are composite characters based on interviews in the settlement. They are not intended to represent real people. The story is narrated by the reservoir itself and covers the historical, political, theoretical, cultural and social aspects of Red Mud Reservoir № VII and those who live in its vicinity. Click here for the full screen cartoon.

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The Life and Times of Red Mud Reservoir № VII

The comic is based on real events surrounding the red mud reservoirs in Almásfüzitő, Hungary. Atlatszo is investigating the hazardous waste dump site since 2011. Earlier this year we found out that after several years of waiting, a new environmental permit was granted in December 2019  to Tatai Environmental Protection Ltd. (TKV)’s hazardous waste processing plant at the Almásfüzitő red mud reservoirs. According to our sources the company’s then owner was in talks with Felcsút billionaire Lőrinc Mészáros about the potential sale of the company which has an annual turnover of over 6 million euros.

Hazardous waste deposit at the red sludge reservoirs in Almásfüzitő was issued a new permit

After several years of waiting, a new environmental permit was granted in December 2019 to Tatai Environmental Protection Ltd. (TKV)’s hazardous waste processing plant at the Almásfüzitő red mud reservoirs.

Our prediction has since come true: according to a licensing document published on the website of the Hungarian Competition Authority at the end of March 2020, Status Next Environmental Private Equity Fund belonging to the Mészáros Group acquired sole control over Envirotis Holding Zrt., which owns the company running the Almásfüzitő hazardous waste processing facility.

Megújították a Mészáros cégcsoport által kinézett almásfüzitői hulladéklerakó engedélyét from atlatszo.hu on Vimeo.

Comic: Ian Cook and Gyula Németh

The comic is one output from the project ‘Black Waters’ run by the Center for Media, Data and Society at the Central European University in partnership with Atlatszo and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. It was supported by the Open Society Initiative for Europe. The research team further included Alexandra Czeglédi (research assistant), Gabriella Horn (investigative journalist) and Márta Vetier (researcher).



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