I grew up in a little village (Maroslele) only a stone’s throw from two international borders in Southern Hungary, one leading to Romania, and the other to Serbia (still Yugoslavia back in the day). Now this village is a “sleepy hollow” indeed, as if time would have come to a complete halt there. Of course you don’t really get to notice this while you are sheltered by this very “bell jar”. Maybe this is why I never got to cross these two borders (or any other borders) until I was 20 years old. Eventually, my belated first longer cross-border trips led not to the two nearby Southern countries but in the opposite direction, to Slovakia, to Austria, to Germany, a 2007 train journey being my most significant travel experience then.
Ten years later I faced an opportunity to travel to Cluj-Napoca/Kolozsvár in Romania. I decided right away that I’d celebrate the 10th anniversary of that trip to the North/West with a similarly extensive train journey to the East/South. And of course, I wanted to play a bit with the old photos, reproducing variations of some of my older pics. So many things have changed (most importantly, I spent three years working in one of those neighboring countries), and it took a while to realise that one of the most powerful forces shaping my life is this enduring tension between East and West.
And in the rest of the series, YOU decide which is West, which is East