The Hungry Hungarians project represents and communicates my extreme disappointment with current Hungarian politics with the form of a cookbook. It criticizes the political and social changes that have occurred in Hungary over the past years through a presentation of images, Hungarian recipes and cultural stories. The book explores how Hungary’s political system moves further away from the Western democratic and liberal values.
The book contains different elements: personal texts with associated food and family pictures, black and white portraits of and interviews with a women who left Hungary, and at the end of the book, I include the recipes of the dishes I mention in the texts.
The women in the portrait images each hold pickles in their hands because it is a typical Eastern European vegetable. Hungarians eat pickles with many national main dishes, so they remind me of home even if I know that they are common in New York, as well. The shape of this vegetable is phallic so in the series they have three functions: cultural signifier, phallic symbol, and to connect the portraits to the recipe book that is central to the work, too. Pickles are ugly and sour but delicious. People love them or hate them. I feel the same way about Hungary.