THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Before choosing to Porto for Erasmus, I thought that i’m going to the furthest place I can choose from Budapest. It was my aim to go as far as I can, to see completely different things, different culture, different people. But I had to realize after my arrival, that Porto is not an other planet, it has a lot of common things with my city. Maybe it was just my point of view, but I started to search the similarities. Why? Maybe to avoid the homesick. Maybe I didn’t have homesick because of the similarities. As the time passed and I started to feel more and more home here, I found even more parallel facts between the two cities, and I enjoyed a lot the idea of finding the familiar things here. I can tell now: I found my Budapest in Portugal, and it’s Porto.
Despite the geographical distance, we can find common things examining the two countries. If we take just the facts, we already find some similarities: Portugal has the same size and population as Hungary. We have similar economical situation, and in some sense similar mentality of people. Our folk music is mainly sad, melancolic and bittersweet as fado. And if we examine the two cities -Budapest and Porto - we will find very interesting common facts. Its true, that Porto is not a capital, as Budapest, and its smaller in territory and population, but the two places have really similar atmosphere. There were some main motives, that were helping: the river, the bridges, some buildings, even the people in some sense. The Danube divides Budapest in two parts - Buda and Pest - just on the same way as the Douro spearates Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. The bridges are important elements of both cities, they unite the parts, that the river separated. And these are just the most obvious similarities, but I felt some strange deja-vu in so many small details, that I wanted to prove, that these similarities are true, not just in my eyes, but through other peoples thoughts too.
Lightscapes of Budapest - Lightscapes of Porto
Hommage to Bruno Bourel photographer
Bruno Bourel french photographer came to Budapest, and started to photograph the city on the way how hungarian photographers are picturing Paris. Nowadays his photographs are available everywhere in Budapest as postcards, and they show little moments of the city, artistic views instead of the touristic sights. In 2001 he made a collaboration with a contemporary hungarian poet, Lajos Parti-Nagy, who wrote short stories, descriptions, poetic writings to each of his pictures, and they made a book called Fényrajzok/ Lightscapes in four language. I chose to follow Bourels eye. Why? I’m as outsider, as foreign in Porto, as he was in Budapest, so his point of view can be similar about my city, than mine about my temporary home, Porto. The relationship is really similar, as the two cities in my opinion.
I was trying to find the same images, same meanings, the paralell pictures with Bourels photographs. Parti-Nagy’s texts connected to the original pictures are fitting to my photos about Porto too, but they get a new context with their new pairs.
“My favourite place in Budapest is...”
After following a strangers eyes, and descriptions about Porto I asked my friends to describe me in a few sentence their favourite place in Budapest, (without mentioning the name of the place). I took these sentences - the opposite way as Lajos Parti-Nagy took Bourels photographs - and I was searching for them in Porto.
There are descriptions of my best friends from Budapest, from my mother, friends from other cities, friends who just visited Budapest, and from friends who spent one year there, as I do in Porto. Everybody had different perspectives, somebody chose a park, somebody the castle, somebody the bridge, somebody a club, but the most interesting thing for me was that I found all of them in Porto. The process of the project made me discover Porto, see things, that I didn’t know before, and realize that I can find a place for all of my friends here, and maybe - as the proverb says - there’s no place like home, but you can find it if you search for it.
Thank you Porto, for being my home for 5 months.
Special thanks for my Mother, Bogi, Bözse, Sári, Michele, Stefano, Domonkos, Victor, Noémi, Sári, Márk, Ivana, Kristina and Anna for sharing your favourite place with me, I think Porto would be a nice place for you too.