Ever wondered what Budapest looked like half a century ago? If yes, meet the talented Hungarian photographer, Sándor Kereki. At the age of 16, armed with a camera gifted by his father, he embarked on a photographic journey that has made him what we call a street photographer today. Through his lens, he captures the essence of Budapest in the '70s, freezing everyday moments in the streets. Get a sneak peek of these precious black-and-white moments, then visit his exhibition at the Capa Centre!

Life in Budapest during the '70s was very different to the life we know today. Or was it? One thing is for sure: socialism was in full bloom, but it didn't hinder city dwellers from enjoying their free time, whether basking in some sunshine on the riverbank or engaging in a game of chess in a thermal bath. 

You can observe these stolen moments yourself through the lens of the talented photographer Sándor Kereki, whose exhibition is on view until February 4th at the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Centre. Born in 1952, Kereki first started taking pictures at the age of 16, while still in high school, with the camera his father gave him for his birthday. He embarked on a journey of being a self-taught photographer.

For more than a decade, he roamed the city, seeking out situations, expressions, and faces – this was an era when people still willingly allowed themselves to be photographed. One can recognise many familiar locations from the 6th and 7th districts – he used to live there in his most active period. He took his photographs for his own entertainment and never for someone's request. 

Although Sándor Kereki set his camera aside in the early eighties, his legacy remains. His photographic work during the Hungarian seventies played a pivotal role in establishing the now internationally recognised category of street photography. With a closed and completed oeuvre consisting of seven thousand exposed negatives, the Capa Centre collaborated with him to select the images featured in the ongoing exhibition.

The photos captured between 1968 and 1980 stand as crucial works in Hungarian photography, serving as pioneering images that surpassed their time. They are not only significant historical documents but also powerful and enduring pieces of art. Each image tells a story, whether it be an action, a scene, or simply a face. The exhibition material boldly claims that Kereki's works are comparable to the calibre of Cartier-Bresson and Brassaï, suggesting that had he been born just a few borders away, the prestigious Magnum photo agency would have undoubtedly signed him.

More details and tickets here.

(Cover photo: Capa Centre)