Stories along the Öreg-Túr River


“Sonkád, Kölcse, Túristvándi, Nagyar, small villages in Bereg county, tiny aging islands. Walking through the villages, you watch the people, the houses, and you the get the feeling that you see the end of something.”

Stories along the Öreg-Túr River (2019 – 2020) Öreg-Túr flows through Bereg county, in the northeastern part of Hungary.

The river travels through every village of my childhood and youth. My memories of the river entail not only spaces, but faces, lives, and a whole set of values ​​with them. This photo series examine the relationship in its current-day state between the river – alongside its surroundings – and the people living around it. Rural communities maintain less and less elements of their once traditional walk of life – some activities that can still be found are in close conjunction to the unchanging traits of nature. Such are the activities associated with the river – in example crafting loam bricks, fishing with the net or rod, ice skating, bathing, kayaking and many more. The body of water may mean work, an income, recreation, fun and hardship at the same time.

I collected personal stories and situations that show a particular attitude. I wanted to draw a broader picture from these stories, one that does not only speak of a regular sense of life around the river, but also shows the wider socio-historical context of Öreg-Túr’s environment. Furthermore, in the pictures I wanted to put my own experiences, memories and amateur interest in the environment and wildlife on display.

János R. Szabó (1992) was born and raised in Kömörő, a small village in the northeastern part of Hungary. This particular locale plays a major role in his inspiration as an artist. He graduated in photography at MOME in 2018. He is invested in sociophoto and depiction of people, researching the connection between memory and documentation. Beyond his regular practice as a photographer he is in strong collaboration with the performance art scene of Budapest, Hungary.

Copyright © János R. Szabó, all rights reserved

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