Our New Neighbours – Project phase I.

The first phase of the project, funded by the Global Fund for Community Foundations, ran between July 2017 and December 2018. Our main goals in the project then were, on the one hand, to facilitate the inclusion of our “new neighbours”, people born abroad, who are connected to the 9th district, in the local community; and to raise awareness about the values inherent in diversity. To this end, we carried out the following activities:

Conducted over 30 interviews with foreigners living, working, studying in the district, or otherwise connected to Ferencváros, to gain insight into their experiences here.

We took part in the 2-day community festival, Ráday Corso, held on 28-29 September 2018, with the following programmes:

  • Pop-up/mosaic photo exhibition, depicting photos of objects that foreigners brought with them from home, telling stories of connection, travel and belonging. The photos, including a short explanatory text, were exhibited in non-traditional exhibition venues, such as a hairdresser salon, and ice-cream parlour etc., in an attempt to reach out to a wide audience.
  • A concert of Turkish music, featuring involving a Turkish interviewee playing a Turkish flute (ney).
  • Guided tours, titled “Ferencváros, the Melting Pot”, around the central part of the 9th district, highlighting the rich migration history of the district, involving historical sites and well as ones of contemporary relevance.
  • gastronomy event, Taste the World!, in collaboration with MigHelp Association, featuring food from Nigeria, Syria, Kenya, the Philippines, and Kurdish and Hungarian cakes.

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‘Talking Objects’ photo exhibition

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We asked our interviewees to show us an object that they brought from their home countries and tell us about its story. Thus we collected fifteen objects and stories of people living, studying, working in Ferencváros. The objects were photographed by Balázs Pivarnyik, Era Barna wrote the related stories and Miklós Szalay designed the exhibition panels. The panels told stories that are personal but also universal in talking about cultural diversity, as well as universal emotional bonds and experiences that we all may share, no matter where we come from.

The photo exhibition, Talking Objects, took place at the Great Market Hall between 15 October – 10 November. The venue was chosen because it is not a traditional exhibition space but one that attracts thousands of people, i.e. shoppers, from all segments of the social spectrum. The exhibition was opened by Nick Thorpe, BBC correspondent for Central Europe, and Pál Závada, a prominent writer, himself a resident in Ferencváros. Snacks were prepared by a couple from the Mauritius islands, who run a restaurant in the district, and a Tibetan interviewer who sang a Tibetan song and played his Tibetan guitar (dramyin) that was photographed for the exhibition.