3X3 52 486
The title of the project is based on the picture-compositions that are arranged into 3x3 matrices. The next set of figures in the title refers to the fact that I created one image each week of my past year. My photo-diary also contains 18 additional single photos that accompany the 52 images, so altogether it consists of 486 images. My mosaic-diary-encyclopaedia entitled 3x3 is a personal project, a self-confession. It’s a meditative list of all the visual elements, emotions and thoughts that embrace my life. It’s a spiritual journey that shows how I lived through my illness, from the loss of hope to regaining it. It reflects my love of solitude and is a quiet reflection on life and passing away. It is a travel diary that does not guide us to geographical locations, but enables us to embark on an inner journey that maps the tiny details of the tangible material world around us, as well as the invisible emotional reality that surrounds us. I started working on this project in 2010 and two major issues played a decisive role in its final shape. The first factor was something that plays an important part in the lives of everyone - coincidence. The second aspect was my serious illness that dictated my options, confined my room for manoeuvre, and controlled my thoughts and feelings in an arbitrary manner for over a year.
Meanwhile, I kept writing as well… The diary excerpts and verse fragments on the pages of my book were born almost casually, by themselves. The words-sentences are not real captions but, in one way or another, the images and the accompanying text belong together – they complement each other and add to each other’s meaning. When I wrote the diary for myself, I just jotted down a couple of lines as I did not for a moment think that I would ever share it with anyone else. And it was all well the way it happened as I just wrote down whatever came to my mind, honestly and without any self-control - fragments of thoughts, spontaneous words and sentences.
Although Emil Torday is almost forgotten in Hungary, in the world he counts as an honoured researcher even today. He first got to Congo as an officer in the age of 25. Even his first trip proved to be decisive in the fate: with great interest and immense desire to knowledge he started to investigate on the unknown people of Congo. The first was followed by two other expeditions between 1900 and 1909. Torday toured the whole country, he learned seven Congolese dialects, gained a collection of thousands of objects, and first described the culture of many ethnic groups. In the international science, particularly in the fields of anthropology and Africanistic, his English, French and Hungarian publications are still essential, important and valuable professional works. Despite this, the public knows little about this scientist, who was so far before his age with his new approach and methods.
In 2009, on the 100th anniversary of Emil Torday's last expedition a Hungarian team started off to Congo. During its two months of adventuring, the expedition reached to the scenes of Torday's main scientific and collection works. The book follows the road of the members of the Torday-Congo Expedition. Exciting moments, heartwarming experiences accompanied the unfolding of Congo's world, which is extraordinary with its contradictions.
Window in the sky
"In my many years as a photographer, I have found that the world around us is just as colorful as the rainbow after a spring rain. The people of the world are just as beautiful and diverse as all the natural wonders. But what would a rainbow be without its colors? What would the Earth be without its vivid, rich, and diverse cultures? However interesting these questions might be, I do not want to know the answer to them. I wish to simply describe them in photographic images.
Working in conjunction with the Disappearing Cultures Foundation, I've been asked to capture, through my camera lens, the multidimensional characteristics of the customs, rituals, and events surrounding our world's nations and cultures. As the years go by, my appreciation for these cultures have increased. I have traveled far and wide and seen many diverse peoples and yet, I am dumbfounded by the lack of tolerance.
What genre of photos will you find in the following pages? Nothing really shocking -- just the simple, colorful life of a vibrant and diverse world. You will find a world in which the people of all religions reside peacefully, side-by-side on the same page. Where the special Hungarian pig slaughter man and the faithful praying Muslim serenely co-exist in tolerance and patience.
After flipping through this book, I hope that you will get an idea of how beautiful the world is and recognize that everyone of us has a special place in it. And see that being different adds fullness and richness, not fear, to one's life.
The photos chosen for this book do not depict acts of war or violence. Nor am I interested in personal glory or fame. I do not want to instill terror into the reader. Rather, the photos are just simply there as facts. You will find people living their everyday lives; some Indians, then a group of African nomads, maybe people in South East Asia, or a scene at a restaurant in Vienna or in a Scandinavian reindeer herder's farm. Anywhere and everywhere. All cultures are ranked at the same level. They are all valuable and connected. Just like us."
Wapponi By Attila Lóránt (Kossuth Kiadó 2007)Three lingual: English,Hungarian, Spanish. Prewords by The President of Hungary, Sólyom László.
200 pages. 33,5 x 24cm, hardcover. Price: 29 EUR.
”In spite of the growing pressure towards global uniformity, the vast continents of Africa and South America retain an array of cultural differences so rich and colorful it is almost impossible to imagine. Many ethnic groups still follow the manners and customs of their ancestors while others have formed new and unique traditions at the borderline between different worlds and religions. Without ethnic and cultural diversity, our earth would be like a rainbow without colors. Such were my thoughts as I took the pictures included in this book.”
Indiánok, az Amazonas mentén és az Andokban, Author and photographer: Attila Lóránt Published by National Geographic, Budapest.
The work of Attila Lóránt is an impressive portrait about people who still live very closely related to nature. It is a colourful representation of day to day life and traditional celebrations linked to the changing rhythms of nature. During this time when global environmental problems are seriously connected to the fast economic progress and to the unsustainable use of natural resources, it is of great significance to bring about awareness of our collective responsibility for this planet and for the present and future generations of people. The pictures in this book present the value and beauty of cultural diversity and life in harmony with and respect for the environment.
Dr. Miklos Persanyi, Minister of Environment, Hungary
More then a Safari
East Africa more than a Safari, Author and Photographer: Attila Lóránt: Published by Alexandra, Budapest.
Hanzelka Jiri and Zikmund Miroslav begun their journey around the world in 1947. They started their journey with a Tatraplan car in Prague. These two engineers brought their cameras with them. They went across Africa and they took pictures of thousands of ethnic groups in this all the time changing continent. They were seriously worried about the end of”traditional Africa”.
Kalman Kittenberger also complained about the big changes in the black continent during the last 20-30 years.
After all of this, two facts are sure for me; The world and Africa all the time changes, and this flow has winners and losers, but all the time in the past and in the future some clean hearted people fight for the weak, because they try to save what is possible. For example how Hanzelka, Zikmund, Kittenberger and Lóránt Attila have done.
Kincses Károly, Photo museologist (October 2003)