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Capa Grand Prize Hungary Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center

The Capa Grand Prize Hungary was founded in 2014 by the Capa Center in Budapest, Hungary. The €15,000 prize was formed to promote mid-career photographers and it has been presented five times since.

Capa Grand Prize Hungary 2020 winner

Barnabás NEOGRÁDY-KISS: Double Bond

My sight is indescribable, cannot be visualized. Only those will know, those can understand it who have experienced it. Whatever I focus on, it will always be halved; if I look at the half of the half, that will be halved as well. I tried to conceive of photography as a study but I had to realize that I didn’t want this series to be an illustration of my vision. I had to dig a bit deeper to understand what this entails, what thoughts, connections, bonds form in my head. I tried to simplify a rather complex thing: the communication between pictures. Like when you try to filter out things that are interesting for you from a scene and then follow up on thoughts based on this filtering. Experiences, perceptions, half-thoughts, partial pictures, the big whole forming in our head. You see a round “O” when looking at a neon green floaty, I visualize a “C”-shaped half-green floaty. Following this train of thought, we’ll arrive at completely different conclusions; me at the letter “C,” you at the letter “O,” you end up with a UFO, I’m left with a boomerang.

I’m sitting in the passenger seat of a car.

The driver:

- So what do you see of this billboard?

- What billboard?

In my world, that billboard didn’t exist at that time. This made me realize that all those things we don’t see are still contributing to our lives.

Is anyone actually interested in what is beyond that mountain, behind your hands, under the water, behind our backs? To see everything all at once, whatever it is in front of me, that’s just a memory at this point. Thus the space I see is an image put together in my head with a time shift, like a mosaic. Do we all think in pictures? Do I recall things as a whole?

I’m lying on the king-sized bed at my mother’s place after my second surgery, watching television. There’s a movie on and there’s a scene where two characters are walking and having a conversation -- cut scene, and I only see a human face up close, and the character is seemingly listening to something, but I hear words, I hear someone telling a story. What the heck is going on with this movie? Are they showing us the character who isn’t even talking? Why is the other one still speaking if they aren’t on-screen? In exhaustion, I looked at the doorway, it was to the right of the TV, and I saw from my periphery that there were actually two people talking in the movie, then I looked back and saw one person again. What the fuck? I had no idea what was happening to me. I got scared, I studied it, I have accepted it by now.

Members of the jury in 2020

  • Zsolt Petrányi, art historian, head of the Contemporary Art Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts – Hungarian National Gallery, president of the jury (HU)
  • Simon Bainbridge, author and arts editor, former Editorial Director of British Journal of Photography (UK)
  • Gintaras Cesonis, curator, director of Kaunas Photography Gallery, Residency and Publishing House, associate professor at the Vilnius Art Academy, head of Lithuanian Photographers’ Association (LT)
  • Verena Kaspar-Eisert, curator KUNST HAUS WIEN and FOTO WIEN (AT)
  • Klára Szarka, curator, photo historian (HU)

Capa Grand Prize Hungary 2019 winner

Antal BÁNHEGYESY: Orthodoxia

Since the regime change more than 7000 Orthodox churches were built in Romania, and more than 1000 are still under construction nowadays. This means that in the last thirty years every second day an Orthodox church was inaugurated in Romania.

After the First World War the size of the Romanian territory multiplied. Many provinces with different cultural, historical, and national backgrounds merged. During the communist regime the state’s tool for strengthening the national identity and unifying the socio-cultural layers was mainly education. Since the regime change the new resource of the state is religion, more concretely the Romanian Orthodox Church.

Is the spiritual power of the Romanian Orthodox Church really in a process of recruitment or rather it is an artificial and – thanks to the Romanian State – centrally supported ideological and economical positioning?

Members of the jury in 2019

  • Katalin Spengler, art collector, journalist, editor, president of the jury (HU)
  • Arnis Balcus, photographer, editor-in-chief of FK Magazine, director of Riga Photomonth (LV)
  • Emma Bowkett, director of Photography, FT Weekend Magazine (UK)
  • Katharina Mouratidi, artistic director of f³ – freiraum für fotografie (DE)
  • Bas Vroege, founder and director of Paradox (NL)

Capa Grand Prize Hungary 2018 winner

Máté BARTHA: Kontakt

Somewhere in Eastern-Europe, children gather every summer to wear military uniforms, camp in tents under harsh conditions, and practice the usage of guns. For an outsider, the idea itself seems scary. For them, it's the time of their life.

The Hungarian NGO named “Honvédsuli” (Home Defense School) is commited to teach discipline, patriotism, and camaraderie to children between 10 and 18, in a society that they believe is becoming slothful and disconnected. The kids camp under the sky, guard a fire, hike, sing together. They teach the usage of air-soft weapons (replicas of real-life guns) to eachother, and spend weeks according to strict military discipline. Entering their puberty, it is their first time to face expectations, responsibility, or the other gender. Friendships, and a strong community is being formed as they get a few bruises, or have a hard time doing push-ups as a punishment. They’re determined, sometimes lazy, or in love. And for many of them, these adventures provide the only solid ground in life, a framework to understand the world and their position in it.

While reporting from military-themed summer camps for kids, the series observes our attitude towards strict discipline, weapons, and war, and raises questions about their place in our society.

Máté Bartha went on to win the Louis Roederer Discovery Award at the Rencontres D'Arles in 2019.

Members of the jury in 2018

  • Gábor Gerhes, artist, university teacher, president of the jury (HU)
  • Lars Boering, director of World Press Photo (NL)
  • Louise Clements, artistic director of QUAD & director of FORMAT International Photography Festival (UK)
  • Oliva María Rubio, curator and artistic director of La Fábrica (ES)
  • Katalin Spengler, art collector, journalist, editor (HU)

Members of the jury in 2017

  • Attila Horányi, art historian, aesthete, associate professor at the Institute for Theoretical Studies, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, president of the jury (HU)
  • Gábor Gerhes, artist, university teacher (HU)
  • Anna-Alix Koffi, photo editor, publisher (CIFR)
  • Nestan Nijaradze, artistic director of Tbilisi Photo Festival (GE)
  • Donald Weber, photographer (CANL)

Capa Grand Prize Hungary 2016 winner

Viola FÁTYOL: If you have a heart, what you did to me, hurts you too

Vámospécs is situated in Hajdú-Bihar County, twelve kilometres from the eastern border of Hungary. Its population is about five thousand people. Most of its residents traditionally work in agriculture or do farming at home besides their other jobs. The town is struggling with the problems of peripheral existence from the geographical, economic, and cultural aspects.

The folk choir has been operating for forty years; its members are mostly elderly women, who can, for the first time, afford to do intellectual-cultural activities regularly in their years of retirement. They attend the community for different reasons: to cope with loneliness, to overcome personal tragedies, or simply for the joy of singing.

We have been singing together since 2013.

Members of the jury in 2016

  • Attila Horányi, art historian, aesthete, associate professor at the Institute for Theoretical Studies, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, president of the jury (HU)
  • Krzysztof Candrowicz, director of the International Festival of Photography in Lódz and artistic director of the Triennial of Photography Hamburg (PL)
  • Kata Oltai art historian, curator (HU)
  • Marina Paulenka, photographer and director of the Organ Vida International Photography Festival (HR)
  • Clément Saccomani, managing director of NOOR photo agency (NL)

Capa Grand Prize Hungary 2015 winner

Gábor Arion KUDÁSZ: Human

Human scale is defined by the horizon drawn around us by the outermost limits of our senses, but most of what we know of the universe reached us via technology. Our greatest responsibility is to constantly search for our place in the world by defining our own scale. Man is often referred to as a being without scale, by which we point out how great impact we are able to make, but at the same time we unwillingly admit that we are becoming unable to find our origo, our own place.

To begin this work I chose my own narrow horizon, that is limited enough for me to inhabit, while flexible enough to examine what is Human. At the very start an enigmatic object accidentally got in my way, it was the brick, that later on proved to be the perfect symbol, so many human qualities are compressed into it. Bricks are the simplified examples of how the universe can be cut into equal units, and understood. The size of a brick is derived from human measurements, a grip of a palm, length of a foot, height of a man, his muscle power.

Members of the jury in 2015

  • Attila Horányi, art historian, aesthete, associate professor at the Institute for Theoretical Studies, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, president of the jury (HU)
  • Regina Anzenberger, owner and director of Anzenberger Gallery (AT)
  • Dimitri Beck, editor-in-chief at Polka magazine (FR)
  • Clare Grafik, head of exhibitions at The Photographers’ Gallery (UK)
  • Péter Korniss, Kossuth Prize-winning photographer (HU)
  • Monika Perenyei, art historian (HU)
Created By
Istvan Viragvolgyi
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