The two major winners of the Hungarian Press Photo 2020, taking the main prizes home, were announced this year in an exceptional way through a video. The two Hungarian winners, Bea Kovács and András D. Hajdú, are both freelance photographers.
Index reported that the two winners were announced on Thursday (April 16), but only on online platforms this year due to the coronavirus epidemic, which causes obstacles to holding events and award ceremonies. Originally, the awards would have been presented during the Hungarian Press Photo Exhibition at the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Centre.
This year, 267 photographers entered the competition with approximately 2,488 photographs.
András D. Hajdú took photographs in Nagybánya (Baia Mare, Romania) and entitled his work as A fal, amit mi kerítésnek hívunk (would be translated as The wall that we call a fence). The mayor of the town had enough of the local Romani people and built a wall in 2011 to separate them. He justified his decision by saying that Romani people usually bother other residents, do not take care of their hygiene, and the crime rate is extremely high in the region. This is how the Romani ghetto in Nagybánya was born.
The originally three-metre-high wall still stands today, and the actions of the mayor drew an incredible amount of attention for him and the town as well. After getting arrested for his actions, local people re-elected him in 2016 while he was still in prison.
Bea Kovács calls her project Éber kóma (Coma vigil) which represents the everyday life of a Hungarian married couple who have been taking care of their daughter in Sződliget (Pest County) since 2017. The sixteen-year-old Sára finished tenth grade at grammar school in 2016 and took up a summer job. On her first day at work, a car hit her, and she suffered severe injuries.
Since then, she has been in a coma, and the only feedback she can give to her parents is blinking. Her eyes are wide open, but she cannot communicate or move. She reacts badly to the medical treatments, but her parents do everything every single day to take care of her.
Featured image: András D. Hajdú / Hungarian Press Photo 2020 /