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My Budapest Photo Project: The Capital Through the Eyes of Homeless People

Fanni Kaszás 2019.09.12.

The ‘My Budapest Photo Project‘ installed its mini-exhibition on Madách square for the fourth time, in order to show the streets of Budapest from another angle, through the eyes of the homeless to citizens of the capital.

Budapest Bike Maffia, in cooperation with the Café Art team in London has launched the ‘My Budapest Photo Project’ four years ago. The photography contest is organized for homeless people. Similarly to previous years, volunteers handed out single-use cameras, provided by Fujifilm, to homeless people in Budapest and asked them to capture the beauties of the city, the hardness of living on the street as they see it, as well as the details of their everyday lives.

Péter Suri – The place where we live (photo: My Budapest Photo Project Facebook)

The pictures of the exhibition, displayed on Madách square, were selected by a panel of professional judges: actress Kriszta Bíró, photographer Gabriella Csoszó, teacher and activist Pál Nánási, photographer Kata Oltai, curators, art historians, and Fortepan editors Dávid Sándor and Ákos Szepessy.

János Nagy – Afternoon siesta (photo: My Budapest Photo Project Facebook)

A couple, who previously experienced what it’s like to be on the streets, talked to Hungary Today anonymously at the exhibition about how they see the homeless community. The woman said that although she has twelve children, she still gives a small amount to those who are in need because she knows what it’s like to have nothing. The man talked much more in detail about homelessness. He previously sold Fedél Nélkül, the Hungarian newspaper written and sold by homeless people, to Budapest citizens.

photo: Fanni Kaszás/Hungary Today

He said that this exhibition is a good opportunity for homeless people to show how they live at the shelters and on the streets, as it also draws attention to the fact that “at most of the shelters the conditions are really bad” and that “not every homeless person ended up on the street because of alcohol or drug problems… some lost their job beyond their fault and couldn’t afford to pay for their rent and spiraled down from there. It is really hard to get back on your feet.” He added that the exhibition is a great opportunity for homeless artists to show their talent and collect a little money as well. However, in his opinion, sometimes he found that it was easier to find help when he had nothing:

people give a plate of soup to a homeless person sooner than someone who has a little money and better clothes.

photo: Fanni Kaszás/Hungary Today

The selected pictures will be exhibited on the public space until September 22nd. Until then, the audience can vote on their favorites. The 12+1 photos receiving the most votes will be featured in the MyBudapest 2020 calendar with the stories behind them and the profits from the sold calendars will go directly to the artists.

photo: My Budapest Photo Project Facebook

The ‘My Budapest Photo Project’ aims to draw attention to the problems of homeless people, the challenges of living on the street, and to break down stereotypes associated with homeless people. It also aims to narrow the gap and bring different segments of society closer together, by giving homeless people a chance to show their talent and provide some insight to their lives.