Is it possible to draw a portrait of contemporary Hungary with only one pencil, hold by many? Could we map the country at all with its controversial optimism and pessimism, proud and poetry in one single book?

Fifty young visual authors were invited by new media lab Kitchen Budapest and Dutch designer Annelys de Vet to put their homeland in perspective. Rather than folkloristic clichés, the authors present disarming personal visions based on involvement. Bound together they shed light on today’s Hungarian soul; from the most characteristic vernacular buildings to waterside houses and recycled fences, from the best and worst things in life to innocent nursery rhymes and national fraud, from wine spritzer and salty sticks to vegetable gardens and sold-out products. These unconventional stories together express the way cultural identity is always in motion, influenced from many sides, and multicultural by definition.

As Lajos Parti Nagy puts it in his introduction: “Whoever encounters this strange and self-evident book, can learn strange and self-evident things about Hungary.”

 

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