As part of the series of events aimed to salute writer Péter Nádas, who celebrates his 80th birthday in 2022, Budapest Brand and Jelenkor Publisher organized an open photo contest entitled ’I went to Margaret Island’ – Budapest of Péter Nádas. Anyone could apply for the contest with a maximum of 3 single photos, all of which were taken in Budapest, at a specified location, getting inspiration from the quotes of Nádas mentioned in the rules of the contest.

I’m honoured that upon the jury’s decision I have been awarded the 3rd Prize of the contest!

The members of the jury were: cultural historian András Török, photographer Gábor Arion Kudász, associate professor at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest, photographer Szilvia Mucsy, director of Budapest Photo Festival.

From my entries submitted to the contest the ones becoming inspired by the quotes related to the locations Palatinus Houses and Margaret Island were selected for the outdoor exhibiton that could be seen for two weeks from 30 September 2022, in Town Hall Park of Budapest.

Town Hall Park | Budapest | 1 October 2022 | Photo: Irén Jánosi

Town Hall Park | Budapest | 1 October 2022 | Photo: Irén Jánosi

My wife and our son between my two exhibited photos in Town Hall Park | Budapest | 1 October 2022

Palatinus Houses

’On the other side of the heavy blocks of the tall Palatinus Houses built in the 1910s, a tugboat was approaching somewhere from the Margaret Bridge, and the obscene noise spreading on the water, shaking even the stone-lined bed of the river, seeped into the houses through the side streets. Anyone who lived in this part of the city was used to the noise that came, passed, and slowly died away over the river.’ (Parallel Stories I.)

’The pontoon bridge was also a complex word, but it seemed easier to understand it than the ornate person with upright posture wearing an armband or the stupid and flat crawling human being of forced labour service, because you only had to go down to it from the sixth floor, through the giant cross of the Palatinus Houses, which connected the Újpest wharf with Pozsonyi Road, József Katona Street with Sziget Street, and even today it often appears in my dreams as a threat to the war-damaged city buildings,’ (Luminous Details I.)


Margaret Island

’I fell over the wrought iron fence that separated the sycamore-lined walkways behind the Grand Margaret Island Hotel from the huge, smooth lawn. How could I forget. The neo-baroque iron fence imitated the tendrils, twisting stems, opening flowers, and giant, round buds of plants. I really rammed my shin into the plates of the petals and the knots of the buds.’ (Parallel Stories II.)

’At home, I could at least hope that I would understand the words one day, or that I would understand the words as adults use them, but the smells, if we didn’t smell the stench of corpses or the stench of open sewers, were mostly pleasant. They came from the Danube, the Danube had a summer smell, a winter smell, and these changed from day to day, they came from Margaret Island, the organ, the jasmine, and then there was the Julius Meinl with its window framed by yellow tiles, where every time the door was opened, the smell of coffee from the red copper coffee roasters poured into the streets, and another dangerously attractive smell rose from the pile of smoked fish covered with cellophane, and it wafted from the black liquorice or the silk candy.’ (Luminous Details I.)


The award ceremony took place on 2 October 2022 at Kristály (Crystal) on Margaret Island.

Accepting the 3rd Prize of the contest from Szilvia Mucsy, the president of the jury, at Kristály (Crystal) | Budapest | 2 October 2022 | Photo: Gábor Czerkl

Next to the president of the jury, Szilvia Mucsy, at the award ceremony | Kristály (Crystal) | Budapest | 2 October 2022 | Photo: Gábor Czerkl

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