Urban Tensions, Global Trends: Photographing Budapest

  • Course name: HONC103- Photographing Budapest: Urban Tensions, Global Trends
  • Dates: May 20 - June 9.
  • Instructor: Pedro Lange-Churion

A city of tensions and contradictions with a complex and multilayered historical past, Budapest is the Central European city to watch in order to comprehend, not only the current appeal of the Alt-Right in Europe but also, and most importantly, citizen engagement and creative grass root resistances to these global trends. With an urban studies focus and a practicum in photography, this class will first introduce students to various aspects of the Hungarian capital, including a brief introduction to Budapest’s contemporary history. We will pay special attention to the rise of nationalism and the Alt-right, the Roma question, the refugee situation, the struggle to preserve the urban and historical heritage of the city, the role of arts in advancing or resisting the current political landscape. Walking the city will help us discover how these pressing issues are apparent in the very façades of buildings, in ruins from its past and in the dynamic urban life of the city by the Danube. During the last third of the class, we will use the city as a canvas to document with cameras or smartphones the complex and current reality of this fascinating Central European city.