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Eastern Beat and Planet Be are both visual storytelling platforms – Eastern Beat is more focused on photography while Planet Be is designed for video production. Through the two organisations, the participating artists dive deep into what draws people to Budapest from all around the world. Today, we focus on six expats who have made the Hungarian capital city their home.
Meet Zubi, a Nigerian expat who lives and works in Budapest as a musician. “My dad got me a guitar at the age of seven or eight,” he says in the video. “Two years ago I came to Budapest and I started doing music again.” It was a match made in heaven, and he hasn’t left yet.
Another musician who has made Budapest her home is violinist Mevsim. “Budapest is different from other cities,” she says. “It’s so alive. I feel at home here. And music is everywhere in this city, and that’s great.”
Daria hails originally from Russia but, as she says, “My heart brought me to Budapest”. She works here in the city as a news anchor, and is also the co-creator of the Russian Theatre. She encourages everyone to come to Budapest – “even if I leave the city, my heart will stay here,” she concludes.
Italian-born Marco is an artist living in Budapest, and co-founder of the art-activism group Cracking Art. His giant installations involve huge, plastic animal shapes which speak to new ways of bringing people into the dialogue of environmentalism. Marco also adds that it’s easy for expats to meet each other in Budapest, but also that Hungarians are welcoming and creative. “Come,” he adds at the end, “come to Budapest because we need more creative people!”
Another musician in Budapest is saxophonist Lancelot, who loves living in the city. About Hungarians, he says, “If you speak only a few words of Hungarian, they will open themselves up to you. And almost all of them play an instrument”. When he wasn’t able to bring his tenor saxophone on the plane to Budapest, he took a 20+ hour bus journey from Paris just so he could be a part of the musical scene here.
Finally, we meet Arif, a guitarist who started playing at 13, and says it changed his life. Originally from Turkey, Arif says he woke up one day and just knew that Budapest was where he wanted to go. “My life has changed a lot,” he says. “I used to be far from music. Now it’s my life.”