L'anthologie of Global Inestabilidad Transpuesta - Historical and Psychological Bizonytalanság within Hungarian Culture (Part 10)

Transposing Emblem by Éva Walton
4 postcards of emblem transpoзиция exhibited at 1080 Brew
Instability or bizonytalanság is a word in Hungary that can only be understood by reflecting on the history and politics that have affected so many Hungarians throughout the years. 

In Hungary, we have always had to fight for everything we have. In 1956 we battled Soviet troops for freedom, but did not succeed, and the Soviet-installed government continued to rule the country. Hungary became a communist country and many people suffered as it decayed. People were afraid of the government and afraid that their next-door neighbor might lie to the authorities and cause us to land in prison, at least until the end of this era. Bizonytalanság characterized this entire period, and no one could escape this feeling except those who immigrated to another country. The people who were born during this time were infused with a feeling of uncertainty that permeated their everyday life. Psychologically, they had nothing to wish for and learned to live from one day to the next. Saving money was a privilege of the few and remained only a dream for many of us. 
Hungary: Railway bridge by Nneirda
Although bizonytalanság was a common phenomenon, it was also embraced by many people. We can account for this as follows: Bizonytalanság was so common, was shared by so many people, that it became an easier thing to bear as a result. Since no one had anything, there was no gap between the classes and no one felt the need to buy a better car or house than their neighbor. It was not like nowadays where people tend to extend their working hours to make ends meet. Bizonytalanság became an idyllic state of mind that we all became used to. Evidently, people are able to get used to the good and the bad. 
Hungary: Waiting at the train station by Jorg Hackemann
However, if bizonytalanság goes too far and one lacks any stability, what remains is a sour taste in your mouth. When private property was taken away from citizens, there was no financial support to fall back on, resulting in uncertainty in every other area of life. During Communist rule, families lost their homes and houses and fields, and these goods were transferred to the government which controlled everything. These historical events still have an effect on people’s lives, even nowadays, as a new generation has grown up and had to cope with the fact they have nothing to inherit and are therefore starting from scratch.
Hungary: Relaxing at Lake Balaton by rechitansorin
This difficult period only ended in 1989, when the communist system drew to a close. The winds of change started to blow, and we were even allowed to travel west. This changed a lot of things in people’s minds as well. The first free election was held at this time and people started to have hope for the future. Soviet soldiers left the country and people thought that a new era had begun. However, this change was only happening on the surface, while underneath the same people sat in parliament and held important positions. It was only in 1998 that a new party could win the elections and real change could take place. From that year on, the future of the country looked to be brighter and more stable. The working class started to rise and families were given more help than before.
Budapest, Hungary: Shoe decoration by perostudio
When we compare Hungary and Germany, which was in a similar state after World War 2, except they were given financial aid with the Marshal Plan, which Hungary could not accept due the Soviet regime, we can see how prosperity influences our mindset. West Germany recovered well from the Word War, and this has been reflected in the minds of people as well. We can see that if people have money and do not have to live from one day to the next, they feel safer, better, meaning not unstable. When we talk to Germans from West Germany, they show immense confidence and have what seems to be a better life than us. They are more open to new things and not afraid to help or share what they have, while people who experienced Soviet rule and had so many troubles stick to the little that they have and fought for, and are less willing to share. These things have more value to them than what you are just given or were born with. 
Hungary: Spiral by N. Bokor
Nevertheless, Hungary has evolved over the years and the country has developed a lot. The question still remains whether this change has affected people’s way of thinking as well. All in all, bizonytalanság as we know it, makes people appreciate more what they have and what they have achieved, but this could be positive or negative.

Éva Walton

4 postcards of emblem transpoзиция exhibited at 1080 Brew

Lightly edited original version

Historical and Psychological Bizonytalanság within Hungarian Culture

by Éva Walton

Instability or bizonytalanság is a word that can only be defined with the help of the history and politics that have affected so many Hungarians throughout the years. 

In Hungary, we have always had to fight for everything we have. In 1956 we were battling the Soviet troops for freedom, but we did not succeed and the Soviet-installed government continued to rule the country. Hungary became a communist country and many people suffered as it decayed. People were afraid of the government and afraid that their next-door neighbor might tell a lie to the government and one would be jailed at least until the end of this era. Bizonytalanság characterized this whole period and no one could escape this feeling except those who immigrated to another country. The people who were born during this time were infused with a feeling of uncertainty that permeated their everyday life. Psychologically, they had nothing to wish for and learned to live from one day to another. Saving money was the privilege of the few and remained only a dream for many of us.
Although bizonytalanság was a common phenomenon, it was also embraced by many people, which we only could account for by the following. It was so common, was shared by so many people, that it was an easier thing to bare as a result. Since no one had anything, there was no gap between the classes and no one felt the need to buy a better car or house than their neighbor. It was not like nowadays where people tend to extend the working hours to make ends meet. Bizonytalanság became an idyllic state of mind that we all became used to, because people are able to get used to the good and the bad equally.
However if bizonytalanság goes too far and one lacks any stability, what remains is a sour taste in the mouth. When private property was taken away from citizens, there was no financial support to fall back on, which resulted in uncertainty in every other aspect of life. During Communist rule, families lost their homes and houses and fields, and these goods were transferred to the government which controlled everything. These historical events still have an effect on people’s lives, even nowadays. Since then a new generation has grown up, which had to cope with the fact they have nothing to inherit and therefore have to start from scratch.
This terrible period only ended in 1989, when the communist system drew to an end. The winds of change started to blow and we were even allowed to travel west. This changed a lot of things in people’s minds as well. The first free election was held at this time and people started to have hope for the future. Soviet soldiers left the country and people thought that a new era had begun. However, this change was only happening on the surface, while underneath the same people sat in parliament and it was only in 1998 that a brand-new party could win the elections and real change could take place. From that year on the future of the country could be considered to be a brighter and more stable one. The working class started to rise and families were given more help than before.
When we compare Hungary and Germany, which was in a similar state after World War 2 except they were given financial help with the Marshal Plan, which Hungary could not accept due the Soviet regime, we see how prosperity influences our mindset. West Germany recovered well from the Word War, and this has been reflected in the minds of people as well. We can see that if people have money and do not have to live from one day to the next, they feel safer, better, meaning not unstable. When we talk to Germans from West Germany, they show immense confidence and have what seems to be a better life than us. They are more open to new things and not afraid to help or share what they have, while people who experienced Soviet rule and so many troubles stick to the little that they have and what they fought for, and are less willing to share it, since it has more value to them than the things that you are just given or were born with. We only hope that the openness of Germany will not influence the stability of the country, since this prosperity in the 21th century causes challenges like terrorism, which will certainly affect its citizens as well.
Nevertheless, Hungary has evolved over the years and the country has developed a lot. The question still remains whether this change has affected people’s way of thinking as well. All in all, bizonytalanság as we know it, makes people appreciate more what they have and what they have achieved, but this could be positive or negative.

Éva Walton


Credits

Photo 1: First four photos of this emblem exhibited at 1080 Brew
Photo 2: Hungary: Railway bridge by Nneirda
Photo 3: Hungary: Waiting at the train station by Jorg Hackemann
Photo 4: Hungary: Relaxing at Lake Balaton by rechitansorin
Photo 5: Budapest, Hungary: Shoe decoration by perostudio
Photo 6: Hungary: Spiral by N. Bokor
Photo 7: Last three photos of emblem plus one photo from next emblem exhibited at 1080 Brew

Parts of the Emblem of Instability
Friedrich, Angelika. Introduction: The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.
Fondevik, Vigdis. Unstable Nature: Norway and Denmark. October 2016. 
Persio, P.L.F. Social Instabilità and Instabiliteit: Italy and the Netherlands. November 2016.
Romano, Mavi. Unstable Identities: Ecuador and Europe. October 2016.
Zadrożna-Nowak, Amelia. Economic Instability: Poles at Home and the Polish Diaspora. November 2016.

To follow: texts by Polish, Portuguese, Indian, Spanish, Brazilian, Russian, Guatemalan writers and translators

Further reading

Friedrich, Angelika. The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.
Whittlesey, Henry. Forward to Next Transposing Emblem. January 2016. 
Whittlesey, Henry. Changes to Transposing Emblems. November 2015.
Whittlesey, Henry. Excerpt of new emblem transpoзиция on trash. September 2015.


Post a Comment