One of the most highly priced photos in the world was taken of two seven-year-old sisters. Even the reinterpretations of Diane Arbus’s photo are world-famous. Twins have been intriguing the mind and fantasy of artists, scientists, and lay people alike, from ancient times till today. The study of twins, in spite of its long scholarly tradition, still provides surprising discoveries to this day.
„And pure existence dictates that there is nothing—no love, no bloodshed, no party loyalty, no sexual attraction, no cascade of lava, no volunteer blood donor, no sunset, nothing in which there is life beating, or nothing that is at the brink of being devoured by non-existence but holds on to life tightly still—that you could picture easily without the color red.”
Whether in weekend houses, campings, at company retreats, or in roadside “csárda” restaurants offering live Gypsy music and geared to German tourists, outdoor cooking was extremely popular and clearly had momentum in Hungary in the second half of the 20th century. A suburban condo building would never be designed without a shared fireplace in the patio. The tricks of the old shepherds and fishermen filtered into big city life, though they changed quite a bit along the way.
“If you’re with us, you’ll eat this!” This slogan along with the picture of a loaf of bread on its banner summarized succinctly the political program of the Hungarian Smallholders’ Party after the war. They were not the only political party trying to outdo the others in making clever use of the traditional festive day on the August 20 known as the “Festival of the New Bread.” Even though it was Communist propaganda that eventually “hijacked” and transformed its meaning, the New Bread celebration was not invented by the Communists, and the idea of taking political advantage of this festive day had antecedents in the Christian and conservative political and cultural tradition. A photo of the Communist leader Mátyás Rákosi gently crumbling a head of wheat was as ingrained in Hungarian political iconography and collective memory as the passages of poetry mastered by tired schoolchildren longing to be anywhere else during the last class of the day.
Fashion has been a favorite topic of discussion even back in Socialist times when bold dreams met a rather modest reality and modest means compared to the present or to the Western world. However, in spite of the fact that there was hardly anything to buy, or perhaps because of it, we are sometimes pleasantly surprised by the stylish and original outfits of the people in the photos taken in the years of shortage economy.