Hungarian Conservative

Photo Exhibition of 1970s–1980s Budapest Only Open for Couple More Days

Artist Sándor Kereki (L) looking at one of his photos on display in the exhibition.
Screenshot of a video on ATV Magyarország's YouTube channel
Sándor Kereki took these intriguing photos as a teenager, and they remained unpublished for decades.

The Robert Capa Centre in Budapest, Hungary his hostingan exhibition of the works of photographer Sándor Kereki, running until 4 February. Kereki took photos as a teenager of everyday life in Budapest in the 1970s and ‘80s with a camera he got from his father. The exhibition is titled Budapest in the 70’s From a Boy’s Perspective.

The photos went unpolished for decades until around 1,800 of them were uploaded to the Hungarian community photo archive Fortepan in 2021,

where they attracted significant attention. Most of the photos were taken in the 6th and 7th districts, in the Inner City area of the Pest side of the capital city.

The unique exhibition was even covered by Euronews, a news site based in Lyon, France, who quoted the artist saying:

‘The street is the street. You find something interesting, and then you go home and look at it and it turns out it’s not that interesting. So there was no plan, the only plan was that I tried not to interfere…I have never done it [taking photographs] in such a touching way, I was lucky, the lighting was good, I ran into it and I was lucky to see it, because it happened on the street, but you don’t see something like that everywhere.’

The total collection consists of over 7,000 exposed negatives. It is a great way to get lost in some nostalgia if you are old enough to have been alive then—in that case, if you happened to live in Budapest at the time, you may even come across yourself or a relative in one of the photos, as it has happened to a couple visitors before. If you were not alive in the time when the pictures were, it is a great way to peek into what a typical day for a Budapest citizen was under the socialist regime.

The exhibition opened on 6 December 2023, and is only running until the end of this week, 4 February.

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