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Artistic contribution

to Cultural versus National Borders

Gergely László and Peter Rákosi


„Group-photo of the Roma-row in Lak“


Katalin Soós artist/anthropologist invited us, Peter Rakosi and I to initiate an art-project in Lak (BAZ county, north-east Hungary) at the Roma-row in spring 2004. The Roma community in Lak is living in d-houses (decreased comfort housing) on the edge of the village. This form of living is quite typical for Romas in the eastern part of Hungary. The entire community has been unemployed for the past 20 year and only few had the chance to leave.
On our first visit we decided to invite the local community to participate in the making of a piece. Considering the difficult conditions, we thought to make it as simple as possible: to make a group-photo with everybody on it.
Until summer 2005, we made as many visits as possible in order to gather the locals into the field of the camera, but all steps of our project were accompanied by failure. On our second go, we managed to capture about half the population of the row. (ca. 150 people) For our second shooting we organized concerts and a free-buffet.
The image we took with a large-format camera (9x12 negtive), we printed it 250x2000 cm. We mounted it at the beginning of the row, it was stolen in three days. The entire process was documented on video (27 minutes).


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