Visiting the Suzuki Factory 
Friday, March 27, 2009, 08:42 - Travel, Shooting
Esztergom, Hungary

Recently I traveled across the river to Esztergom to photograph at the Suzuki Factory. Founded in 1991 Magyar Suzuki Corporation was one of the first examples of foreign direct investment after the end of the cold war. Today the plant turns out over 700 cars a day for the European market, and nice cars they are! Suzuki is the largest employer in Esztergom and an important part of the regional economy. Special thanks to Ruska Viktória for arranging the visit!


Stamping towards the future. © Damaso Reyes



Still essential. © Damaso Reyes



Step by step. © Damaso Reyes


Hidden in the background. © Damaso Reyes


Internal structure. © Damaso Reyes


Bright lights, big factory. © Damaso Reyes


At the end of the day. © Damaso Reyes

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1179 )

Remembering 
Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 08:43 - Shooting, Events, Commentary
Esztergom, Hungary

On Sunday I walked over the bridge to Esztergom to photograph the comemeration of the Hungarian revolution which happens every year on the Ides of March. The procession winded through the town to the local cemetery. Yet another example of the pull that history has here in Europe…


The past never goes away. © Damaso Reyes



Flags of our fathers. © Damaso Reyes


Future imperfect. © Damaso Reyes

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 875 )

Dancing and Drinking 
Monday, March 16, 2009, 10:34 - Travel, Shooting
Muzla, Slovakia

On Saturday I was lucky enough to be invited to a wine competition which featured some traditional folk dancing. Drinking wine and taking pictures is not a bad way to spend a Saturday night. Here are a few images, enjoy!


Movement. © Damaso Reyes


Heritage. © Damaso Reyes


Waiting. © Damaso Reyes


Pride. © Damaso Reyes


Listening. © Damaso Reyes


The Dance. © Damaso Reyes


The Truth. © Damaso Reyes

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 2.9 / 749 )

Kid's Play 
Friday, February 27, 2009, 10:32 - Shooting
Komárom, Hungary

Yesterday I went with my friend Szilvia to photograph at her job in Komárom. She works at Gekko, which is focused around early childhood development and education. I spent the day with her as she took the children who stopped by through games and fun exercises designed to teach as well as entertain. Here are a few images…


Walking tall. © Damaso Reyes



Building blocks. © Damaso Reyes



Spin time. © Damaso Reyes



The mirror within. © Damaso Reyes



International impact. © Damaso Reyes



Small steps… © Damaso Reyes

Have a great weekend!

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1127 )

A Winter Festival 
Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 10:42 - Travel, Shooting, Events
Sturovo. Slovakia

Over the weekend I went to an interesting festival (Maskarázás) in Chlaba, nearby town. As it was explained to me the purpose was to banish Winter (which we all hate don’t we?) so that our friend Spring can come along and make us happy. It seemed like a good reason to dress up in strange costumes, play with fire and drink on a Saturday morning. If you don’t believe me check it out for yourselves!


I shall scare you with my… what is that? © Damaso Reyes


Now we must jump over burning bails of hay. © Damaso Reyes


They are very hot! © Damaso Reyes


But they do not frighten me! © Damaso Reyes


Spectacle. © Damaso Reyes


And now we dance! © Damaso Reyes

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1021 )

A Winter Walk 
Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 08:28 - Travel, Shooting, Personal
Esztergom, Hungary

Winter has been visiting us quite a bit here in Eastern Europe. Now those who know me well understand I am not really in favor of this whole business of cold and snow but sadly until I get that villa in southern Spain I will no doubt be seeing a lot more snow. In the best spirit of adventure I recently crossed the Danube and took a little walk around. Come along for the ride!


One moment. © Damaso Reyes



Footsteps. © Damaso Reyes



The dividing line. © Damaso Reyes


The shore. © Damaso Reyes


Trapped. © Damaso Reyes


A new path. © Damaso Reyes


Reflections. © Damaso Reyes


Sunset. © Damaso Reyes

Wasn’t that a lovely walk?


  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 979 )

Dance Nation 
Monday, February 16, 2009, 08:54 - Shooting, Events, Commentary
Štúrovo, Slovakia

On Friday I went to the annual dance that the local high school puts on for its students. What was remarkable is how unremarkable it was. Girls were all dressed up and had their hair done; the boys looks uncomfortable in their suits and tuxedos. They danced to bad music and had a good time. The scene could have been in Berlin or Brooklyn for that matter, which is very much the point.


Swinging and swaying… © Damaso Reyes


Watching and waiting. © Damaso Reyes


Music Playing… © Damaso Reyes


Hoping… © Damaso Reyes


In the moment. © Damaso Reyes


I’ve also visited the school twice to talk to students about my work. For me what’s interesting is how they view themselves and their lives, which is to say very much like their Western European counterparts. All of them have mobile phones and computers and plan on attending university. They shop online and listen to American pop music. Just twenty years ago this of course wasn’t the case. The entry of Slovakia into the European Union no doubt accelerated this trend.



The future is now. © Damaso Reyes

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 910 )

Palinka Time! 
Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 12:49 - Travel, Shooting
Štúrovo, Slovakia

So last weekend was not just about dancing, let me tell you! I also got to do some relaxing, which in this part of the world invariably involves drinking, and lots of it. Well, when in Hungary, do as the Hungarians do, I always say!


Opening the taps! © Damaso Reyes

My friend Almos invited me to his hometown where his father makes his own wine, as well as Palinka, a local liquor which is very smooth even if it has an alcohol content “above 50%” as I was informed.


This ain’t just water! © Damaso Reyes

It seems like having a wine cellar is as much of a Hungarian tradition as having a backyard is in America. From what I was told making alcohol is the local pastime, one I can enthusiastically support.


Almos pours out a taste. © Damaso Reyes

I have to say that the wine was excellent, as it should be since it has won several local awards. And the Palinka was even better. Of course I can only sip a little at a time, after all, I would like to keep my insides intact, but it was exceedingly smooth and had a lovely subtle fruit flavor.


All in good fun. © Damaso Reyes

What I like about drinking in Europe, and in Hungary in particular, is that it is a family affair. That is to say that it isn’t stigmatized the way it is in America and children grow up understanding it is a part of life, rather than having adults try to hide it from them. This is a much healthier attitude.


Mmmmmm? © Damaso Reyes

Of course when you drink you must eat, another good thing about the European perspective. Of course when you are a stranger in a strange land you will sometimes encounter new things, as I did…


Mmmmmm! © Damaso Reyes

But fun was certainly had by all!

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 906 )

Dancing in Budapest 
Monday, February 9, 2009, 12:40 - Travel, Shooting
Budapest

I don’t know about you but I had a pretty busy weekend! There’s so many photos to share that I will have to break it up into two posts. On Friday I went with some friends to Budapest to take in some traditional Hungarian folk dancing.


One moment. © Damaso Reyes

The music may have been traditional, but the crowd was mostly young people in jeans and dresses.


All together now. © Damaso Reyes

From what I was told traditional music and dancing was discouraged under Communism. Today there has been something of a renaissance of all things Hungarian.


Trio. © Damaso Reyes

I can’t tell you how nice it is to hear. Whenever I go into a supermarket, or any public space that has music, I am assaulted by American pop music. If I wanted to listen to Britney Spears I would have stayed in the United States. But here it was nothing but the sweet melodies of the violin that filled the room.


Slowly. © Damaso Reyes

For sure American and Western European influences abound, especially among the youth. But there is an intense pride in the Hungarian identity that is not chauvinistic but proud.


Watching and waiting. © Damaso Reyes

I recorded some music and will hopefully put together some kind of slideshow later in the week. It’s hard to get across the feeling without hearing the music which inspires the dancing.


Smile. © Damaso Reyes


Embrace. © Damaso Reyes


Circle. © Damaso Reyes


Pair. © Damaso Reyes


  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 927 )

100 Kids + Sugar = Lots of Fun! 
Thursday, February 5, 2009, 09:08 - Shooting, Commentary
Sturovo, Slovakia

So the other day I got invited to visit a carnival party that a local elementary school was having. Take 100+ kids under ten, add sugar and music and stir vigorously!


Truth in advertising. © Damaso Reyes

In truth it was actually a lot of fun, for the two hours I lasted. I surely don’t remember ever having that kind of energy but if scientists ever figure out a way of bottling this stuff, they would be rich.


Remains of the day. © Damaso Reyes

One of the things that has surprised me while I have been in Štúrovo is how diverse a place it actually is, given how small it is. Though it is in Slovakia it is actually about 70% Hungarian, which simply speaks to how malleable borders are compared with the nedless reach of history.


Representing the future. © Damaso Reyes

No, what’s far more interesting is the people of color I have found in this town, like the young girl in the middle whose father is from Gambia. From what I have learned there is a Congolese man (the local pharmacist who has lived here for years) as well as a Chinese family and some Vietnamese as well.


Bridging the gap. © Damaso Reyes

Apparently this trend goes back to state socialist times when fraternal communist nations sent people to Eastern Europe to study. Some decided to stay. I was surprised that even in a town of just 11,000 immigration is a fact of everyday life.


Dancing. © Damaso Reyes

I didn’t think I would have that much of an opportunity to explore immigration while I was here but this is exactly why I try not to have too many assumptions before I go to a place. You learn far too much when you actually have an opportunity to live in a place than simply reading about it…

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 892 )

The Savage Coast 
Thursday, September 25, 2008, 12:07 - Travel, Shooting
Rochefort-en-Terre


Yesterday I traveled to the Cote Sauvage or Savage Coast here in Brittany. The place lived up to its name with dramatic vistas of wave battered coastline. It really was amazing to stand at the very end of France and look over the distant horizon towards America, where I will be heading back on Saturday. It was a great trip to end my travels here in France and here are a few images!


You are here! © Damaso Reyes



Crash, bang! © Damaso Reyes



The Channel. © Damaso Reyes



Rocks and waves. © Damaso Reyes



Turbulence. © Damaso Reyes



Thinking. © Damaso Reyes



The castle in the distance. © Damaso Reyes



The lonely fisherman. © Damaso Reyes


  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1252 )

Fest-Noz in Elven 
Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 11:40 - Travel, Shooting
Rochefort-en-Terre


On Saturday there was a traditional Fest-Noz in Elven, just a few kilometers away. An evening of music and dance the Fest-Noz provides an opportunity to both preserve and celebrate local culture. If you just wandered in one might have thought that one was in Scotland or Ireland what with the sounds of the pipes and drums ringing in the night air. But we were safely in Brittany enjoying another great evening.


And the band played on. © Damaso Reyes


We were dancing through the night. © Damaso Reyes


Playing in the shadows… © Damaso Reyes


Just you and I… © Damaso Reyes


Free Brittany! © Damaso Reyes


The pipes, the pipes are calling… © Damaso Reyes

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1223 )

Out and About 
Tuesday, September 23, 2008, 11:35 - Travel, Shooting
Rochefort-en-Terre

It was a busy weekend. Once again the sun was shining and on Sunday several of us took the opportunity of visit an arts festival at Gorvello. There was some traditional dancing and music and well as lots of food and drink. I was pretty wiped out from the night before but I managed to get a few good pictures…



Let’s start from the beginning… © Damaso Reyes


Jesus says hello. © Damaso Reyes


Generations of tradition. © Damaso Reyes


Random moth. © Damaso Reyes


Shoes. © Damaso Reyes


The passion of the flower. © Damaso Reyes

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1186 )

Small Town Circus 
Monday, September 22, 2008, 11:25 - Travel, Shooting
Rochefort-en-Terre


One of the things I like most about spending time in small towns are the festivals and circuses one can find. Last week there was a small family circus in Pluherlin, a village within walking distance. So I packed my camera bag and went for a stroll down the road. It was a small tent but I got to spend a little time with the Bertrand family before the show. Here are a few images…


Big show, this way! © Damaso Reyes


Laetita, Christhophe, Leslie, Dannob and BoBoye. © Damaso Reyes


Send in the clowns. © Damaso Reyes


My kingdom for a llama. © Damaso Reyes


Brother and sister. © Damaso Reyes


Time for a show. © Damaso Reyes

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1215 )

The Song of Brittany 
Tuesday, September 16, 2008, 08:29 - Shooting
Rochefort-en-Terre

On Sunday I had an opportunity to hear some traditional Breton singing at Café Gorvello, just a few towns over. Imagine American idol on a much smaller scale. The event was a local competition for a regional signing festival to be held later next month. Dozens of local residents came out on a lovely Sunday afternoon to sing traditional folk songs.


Keeper of the Flame. © Damaso Reyes


This kind of music is called Kan ha diskan or call and response. The singer will start with several verses and the audience will respond with what we might call the bridge. It was a really interesting experience, especially since almost all of the participants were over 50. As much as there has been a revival of Breton culture over the past thirty years, clearly many parts of this unique heritage are in peril as fewer and fewer young people choose to take on the traditions of their ancestors. Here are a few images!


Song of the shadows. © Damaso Reyes


Documentation. © Damaso Reyes



Noble song. © Damaso Reyes



Local color. © Damaso Reyes




The face of history. © Damaso Reyes

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1163 )


Back Next