Hungary: Bódvalenke Fresco Village – a marginalised village turned into a touristic sight

This film is a product of Cicsero, the Independent Roma News Agency of Cserehát run by local Roma people in Hungary. The current report is about Bódvalenke, Hungary which has become known as a Fresco Village. A village in the most marginalised region of the country has been turned into a touristic sight by a group of activists and Roma painters. The film was shot and edited by Cicsero - Viktor Siroki, Péter Siroki and Laci Siroki.

About this film

Bódvalenke is located in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county, Hungary. The village has 188 residents. 90 per cent of the residents are Roma. There are no job opportunities in the region. Recently a group of activists has turned Bódvalenke into a touristic sight: in 2009 a group of Hungarian Roma painters were invited to paint frescos on the wall of the houses, which changed the looks of the village.

We take a closer look at one fresco with the programme coordinator, Eszter Pásztor, introducing it. The wall-painting is called ‘The Ballad of Bódvalenke’ painted by Ferenc Kunhegyesi. “It is a bit like Picasso’s Guernica,” says Eszter. The painter came to Bódvalenke when the atmosphere was tense in the village. This tension is projected to the wall through the piece of the painter. In the middle of the picture we can see a Roma God or a Roma Jesus who is stretching his arms expressing that “I am here with all my mistakes and misfortune, unhappiness and misery”. “I am here, I am waiting for you, come and see me,” says Eszter, giving us her interpretation of the picture. “I am here, I showed myself, I am yours, come and accept me as I accept you. And the faces behind him are the faces of people of Bódvalenke.”

About Cicsero began its activity in October 2008 in Cserehát, which is a small and marginalised region in the North-East part of Hungary. Cicsero’s mission is to provide written and audio-visual news about issues related to the Roma minority living in Cserehát and to show the local and minority angle.


For more information contact Bernadett Sebaly, MRG's Europe Media Officer, via the Contact page or Melinda Kassai (Cicsero) at kassai.melinda(a)

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Date: 08/03/2010





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