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  • Writer's picture Kester Eddy

Hungary: For Us, Work is a Respected & Praiseworthy Activity (liberal translation)

And quite right too - Except we have to define 'Work" properly KesterTester 27

A photograph from 1993, if I recall correctly. No trying to hide it, this piece of Socialist-

Realist Industrial Art is Hungary. But where? (For all I know, it may still be extant.) Incidentally, note the Kádár-era national coat-of-arms in the bottom right-hand corner, and compare to the Stalinist Rákosi címer as portrayed in KesterTester 23. The post-1956 symbol, which includes the Hungarian tricolour at its heart, I'd argue is an early prelude to the age of "Goulash Communism". For all his faults - crimes in some peoples' books - Kádár was far wiser and attuned to the popular mood than some give him credit for. Whether, in the long run, that was a good thing for Hungary, is open to debate. Certainly some, like Lajos Bokros, Finance Minister in the mid-90s - ultimately see a serious downside to the softer communism that ruled Hungary in the 1970s and into the 1980s. But that debate should be left for another post. And now, what you've all been waiting for - the answer and announcement of the celebrated winner of the famed International KesterTester Prize Competition 26. To my surprise, this failed to elicit many serious entries. David K said "It could be anywhwere." Well, could it? I mean, there's a pretty big river in the pic. There are only so many rivers of that size in the region. And it happens to be the one you would be mostly likely to think of first. And the city behind it has some unfortunate historical links to Hungary, not least an infamous massacre in January, 1942, when occupying Magyar security forces murdered over 1,200 Jews and suspected Serb resistance fighters. (The unfortunate inhabitants suffered a second, even bigger wave of extra-judicial killings when Yugoslav communist partizans under Marshal Josip Broz Tito took over the city in the winter of 1944-45.) Whatever, the sole correct answer .. <drum roll> ... of Novi Sad, Vojvodina, Serbia came from Benedicte Williams, who confidently asserted: "My answer to the GuesterTester (love the name) is: Novi Sad, as seen from Petrovaradin." Photographer John Cantwell said of his pic: "Well, not much of a story I’m afraid. It’s a recent photo and doesn’t have the intrigue of ... a historical backdrop that would add spice. "I was just down there with my sons for a weekend. I think it was early spring. It did rain a bit. Petrovaradin is the castle itself more or less, so it’s one of the main attractions. "The photo is from 2018. It was taken from the castle hill, which, like Buda, is across the river from the modern part of the city. The castle itself, however, was built a few hundred years more recently than that of Buda, as a Habsburg outpost." Thank you, John, for the added spice of variety. As for Ms Williamson, after winning this famously tough competition, clearly a Netflix contract and global fame can only be just around the corner. And, of course, the right to buy me two beers :) Meanwhile, for more humble folks - the task this week is to ponder the piccie in this post, above, and suggest its location. Have a good week :)

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