Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Milleniumi Kulturalis Kozpont (MKK)

Last Sunday is was raining. We thought a museum the perfect, dry and comfortable place to while away an hour or two. This cultural complex is situated right by the Danube, brand spanking new and in easy reach of the campsite by tram 24. Once the rain ceased, we explored the outside. The pics show what we found inside and out!

Late again?

What is going on here - is culture sinking?

The most comfortable of plastic chairs

The glitzy bar. Lots of money has been spent here.

Robert Capa, Hungarian photographer and lover of Ingrid Bergman, major exhibition of his work here in Budapest opening 4 July.

The dancing toilet is a must to visit. Cardiff Millenium Centre eat your heart out!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

People of the VIII th District

The cross on Koszoru ut

Maria, Matyas ter

Near the cross on Koszoru ut

Magdolna ut

Romanians near the market

Bakery Stall Teleki Market

Krizstina & Melinda

Maria & 2 Victorias - 3 generations


Kalvaria ter

Daniel & John joining the ladies of the fountain, Kalvaria ter

Elizabet, Daniel & John at Kalvaria ter

Magdolna utca

Magdolna utca

Berkocsis ut (Poster advertising Roma festival in Orczy Park)

Sanyi Bacsi, Caretaker Kesztyugyar Community Centre

Janos & Istvan

Friday, 12 June 2009

Airport Sunday

Got an email a few days ago from Penny Jones informing us that the Roma Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has been cancelled at the last minute - no reason given but could be something to do with the political situation in Italy with regard to the Roma. The Italian Govt. tried to enforce a law to fingerprint all Roma children until it was pointed out by Amnesty and others that this was a gross infringement of their human rights. There is a campaign and a petition to sign at the PLEASE SIGN IT. Thankyou
Many of the other pavilions have joined the campaign - we hope the Wales pavilion will follow suit (if it hasn't already done so.)

We went out to the suburbs for the day - to where the country meets the city - the airport perimeter. Took the M3 subway to Kabanya-Kispest and then a 98 bus to Barros ut, got out and walked around. This is what we found.

Bus Stop for the 98 at. And what's the wildlife doing?

More building.

Great sign

Hungarian Racka Sheep. A wild type that can survive on next to nothing - very hardy and not susceptible to disease. Nice looking too!

Peter, whose idea it is to establish a city farm here right by the airport fence. It wasn't too noisy either. Peter says the economic situation has meant fewer flights than usual.

Wild Oats

This looks like our kind of place!

A beautiful combination.

This is not a dandilion - it is huge - any idea what it night be?

The biggesr Viper's Bugloss we've ever seen!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

VIII District (part I)

Maria utca.

Agi's dog walker on Matyas Square - he is 75 - unbelievable!

No idea what is for sale here here!

Sunday best.

The glory of electricity.

Not in these shoes either .... ( for Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch whose beautiful book of poems 'Not in These Shoes' has been shortlisted for the Wales book of the year prize)

Budapest has 24 separate districts. The VIIIth lies close to the centre of the city and depending upon your point of view is either the Roma getto or 'up and coming' - ripe for social regeneration.
The old housing stock is delapidated and slowly being replaced by new high rises.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Work Begins

We started work over a week ago, but have been too busy to blog until now. Between Roma Galas, Festivals and meetings with remarkable people we have had little time for ourselves, but now we are settling into a rhythm and can at last enjoy being here.
We are (as always) very lucky with the people we meet who are interested in what we are trying to do and are keen to help us to do it.
Firstly we must mention Kata, the Editor of Amaro Drom the Hungarian Roma Magazine. She is someone who makes you feel as if you had known her for years (instead of for just an hour last year.) She has already introduced us to many Roma musicians and artists and tonight she takes us to a restaurant called 'Giero' in the middle of Budapest, run by two Roma women chefs. Food reviews are our speciality!
Then there is Iringo, a lawyer from the Roma Legal Advice Centre who is adept at making appointments and fun at the same time. She is also an avid photographer of the VIIIth District - look at her blog -
These two women have found for us the most amazing interpreter, Zsuzsi Zsusa who is knowledgeable about all things Hungarian. Describing herself as a 'Hungarian Central European mix' there doesn't seem to be anything she doesn't know (at least something about). She speaks Swedish, English and a little German; without her on the team we wouldn't be able to talk and relate to the Roma people we are trying to reach. She lives in the VIIIth District and has such an engaging way with her that people are immediately put at heir ease. Today she confessed that she talks so much sometimes her jaw aches! Oh really?
We are beginning to explore the VIIIth district of Budapest where many Roma live and have found the cheap Teleki Market - beautiful sour cherries and fresh dill - a good local restaurant with authentic food and a cheap bar to hang out in when it is raining !! which it has been doing a lot of lately - just to make us feel at home !!!
Much more of the VIIIth district to come.
We have also been back to the Lumen Foundation to meet with Gergely Laszlo who has asked us to give an informal talk about our work on June 22nd which we are very happy to do.

Iringo, Kata and two old fogies from Wales!

Zsuzsi Zsusa (try saying this with dentures) our amazing interpreter with a hard hat acquired at the 'free market' at the community centre - does she know something we don't?

Gergely Laszlo at the Lumen Foundation, an artist run gallery and cafe in central BP
A 'red letter day' for Gergely - he has just made his first batch of hummous unaided - and good it was too!!!

Laura Barsy, Flamenco Dancer Performing at the Roma Gala, Thalia Theatre on Thursday 28th of May.
The Gala featured Roma musicians and performers who get a stipend to study their artform. This was the 20th year of this event. We have many photos which we will show in time - but have to get all their names together first.

Laura Barsy giving an interview prior to the performance

In the Green Room at the Thalia Theatre before the Gala

Monday, 1 June 2009

Esceri Flea Market

An odessey to find this place. Between bus, cake shop, eventually we found an American tourist also looking for it and together we discovered the number 89E tram.

Market Sign

We didn't buy anything but look what we found instead! Prof. Leo Dalton taking a short break from the path lab with his assistant, incognito but the hats didn't fool us! Thanks to William Gominara, star of 'Silent Witness' and his friend for a lovely chat in the cafe over (yet another) cold beer.

Laszlo, Roma Trader in Antiques - one of many Roma traders here.

Roma children on the 89E tram from Hatar ut to Esceri