Monday, November 5, 2012

found picture


Shorts and long socks… I can completely understand those twentieth-century memoir writers who live as an initiation-like experience the first serious long pants. ,)
This photo may have been taken around 1957, the eight-to-nine-year-old boy – probably a fresh dweller of a nearby flat – is as old as my father. Who could photograph him and with what kind of camera? In the fifties an own camera was a much greater thing, the number of the pictures of a film limited, the fixation and lab costs money, the portable bathroom enlargers for home use spread much later. The half-smile and slumped head also seems rather a shy gesture, a hesitant self-representation. He was made to stood here, it is not him who wanted to be on the photo. Yes, it was rather the father with the camera who commanded him there, this is not the kind of picture which friends take of each other.
To the right, the first steps of landscaping, in the background the corner of one of the two family housing estates formerly named after Governor Miklós Horthy and his wife Magdolna. The worker’s housing estate was built in several phases, the houses in Tomori Alley were completed only around this time, after the revolution. A part of the dwellers moved in during the autumn of 1956 as squatters, under the pressure of the house dearth, taking advantage of the disheveled wartime situation. According to the memoirs, the squatters could rightfully establish their position after the battles, the district council did not take back the occupied flats.
The majority of the flats in this estate are around 35m2, so-called “adjusted to the reduced demand levels”. This meant to bring down the building costs by reducing the bathroom to a shower niche opening from the kitchen. I think that in the given situation this was better than trying to reduce the size of the room or the kitchen, as they did in several other state house developments in the period. This situation, nowadays perceived as too narrow for a family, was a big step up in the post-war decades.

Does he still live here?

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