Memories’89 – At the Border of a New Era

Printer-friendly versionPDF version
2019/04/26 - 2019/05/24


An interactive photo exhibition of personal memories of the change in political regime will be opened in National Széchényi Library. Ten European cities take part in the series of international photo exhibitions organized by Photoconsortium, each processing a unique, local topic. The pop-up exhibitions are launched with the help of a crowdsourced photo collection, and people sending in their items actively participate in forming virtual galleries. In Budapest, it will be NSZL that connects to the international project with its exhibition entitled Memories’89 – At the Border of a New Era.

Back in 1989, the fall of the one-party political regime not only changed the political environment and brought, after decades of dictatorship, democracy to Hungary, but it also transformed the way Hungarian people led their everyday lives. It had a huge impact on city and village landscape, clothing, the way of spending leisure time, consumption – on everything. The historical change did not always mean a positive change. Although the statues and monuments, symbols and street names of years of dictatorship disappeared, the forlorn and unused empty buildings, ruins of factories and one-time corporate resorts, barracks and places of amusement have kept on signaling the change. The exhibition will focus on the change in regime, and will try and show transition and change, from personal perspectives, edited from various private photo memories.

We wondered what the memory of change in political regime meant for people living in Budapest. The crowdsourced collection was completed with photos originating from Fortepan, as well as with period picture postcards and posters borrowed from NSZL’s Collection of Posters and Small Prints. Photos by Piroska Nagy, taken from the photo database of 1956 Institute – Oral History Archives, provide added value with items related to the key protest marches and events of the regime change, and documents witnessing the political turnaround.

The exhibition will be open from April 26, 2019 until May 24, 2019.
Venue of the exhibition: Manuscriptorium Exhibition Space – Manuscript Collection, NSZL

Related article