Subjective Budapest Maps

City / Country / Region: 
Budapest, Hungary
Commissioner(s) / Initiator(s): 

Open Society Archive

Local / Citizens' Knowledge Production as a Tool for Placemaking: 

Organized by OSA Archives, the exhibition entitled Subjective Budapest Map exhibited various maps – created by local residents (both artists and non-artists) – that have raised problems of great social sensitivity: an experiment in data visualization regarding the political map of post-socialist monuments; an audio map for blind and visually impaired people; the city seen through the eyes of drug dealers; and the visualization of temporary spaces. 

The political map of post-socialist monuments – which was a work of myself, together with Balázs Keszegh – was an interactive map that tried to visualize how the city changed after the regime change in 1989 from the perspective of demolishing, reinterpreting, replacing or erecting statues. Since our goal was to see how certain places changed in the city, we have developed two layers of maps (pre- and post-1989) that makes possible a dramatic comparison between the (sculpture) identities of the given locations. (Note: A very similar project got realized at the Berlin Unveiled exhibition in 2016:


Participatory Processes: 

The exhibition was preceded by an open call: out of the forty-two works submitted to the competition, twelve were admitted to the second round by a panel of expert judges. To reinforce the concept, the organizers added some further, earlier-made works to the selection: based on, or related to, maps or urban networks, these, too, recorded the artists' reactions to the changes of the past two decades.

Digital Tools Used: 


Bottom-Up Digital Practices: 

The last two decades have brought wide-ranging changes in the life of Budapest: in the wake of the social and economic transformation that was brought about by the transition to democracy, urban and social space has been restructured. During the transition, the emergence of the private sector and the infusion of foreign capital radically altered the city. All these had an effect on Budapest's development, on all aspects of the changes. The maps – exhibited at OSA – offered very personal perspectives on all these changes.  

Disciplinary / Professional Field: 

Critical mapping