Tea and sweets for ‘Public Space’ – October 15 (Budapest)

Organizers/Sellers: EFEMERTER

Dózsa Kamilla // Foitl Rebeka // Gábor Sarolta // Kecskés Kinga // Molnár Ráhel // Nagy Viktória // Serly Veronika // Sury Dalma // Tamás Soma // Tüdős Anna // Zsámboki Miklós

Number of buyers: 30

This was the price list of A Másik Piac (The Other Market – Budapest):

/ / Hot Tea – Social Relations in the Public Space
/ / Savoury cake – Proper use of Public Space
/ / Sweets – Waste removal, garbage

On the 15th of October, the first self-initiated Other Market was made in Budapest by a group of students of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts. They found it to be the best tool to research about the opinions of people on new regulations of public space in the city, and decided to offer tea and sweets in exchange of three different topics, of which its more important ‘quotes’ I transcribe directly from their information. They took The Other Manifesto as a reference.


On waste
There is a recent law in Hungary, that if you put something out on the streets (as rubbish for example) it becomes the property of the city, so actually, taking it means stealing. For some it would still mean value, but in this case it turns to waste right away.
Reactions to that:

  • Some people go around neighborhoods collecting these objects, either for reselling them, or to build their homes. If you call them thieves and take this chance away from them, it can mean taking away they ‘source of income’.
  • In the big cities it’s an amazing adventure to see all this precious, old stuff has been put out. There definitely is a waste-culture, just like the second-hand-culture, which has institutionalized.
  • Everyone needs something else from the piles and everyone does it even though it is now prohibited. How do they control this? Once I saw a guard/policeman who was also searching in a pile..
  • What would be an alternative system? People don’t always have the opportunity to put their rubbish in their cars and take it somewhere, it’s the cities duty to collect it. I think there’s no other way.
  • If this is a straight-out try to hold the gypsies back, it’s pretty rough.
  • The problem is not the rubbish, but the keeping order.
  • Maybe it’s capitalism telling us to buy constantly new things instead of collecting old stuff?

On waste in general:

  • There’s no use to collect glass, metal, plastic and so on, people mix them together anyways, even in the collectors. We’re too lazy for this. It’s obvious now abroad, but Hungarians don’t believe in it.
  • I’ve always wanted to put a compost bin in the middle of the city.
  • My friend works at Starbucks, they have throw away all the food at the end of the day for several reasons. There’s always a supervisor, who makes sure that they really don’t take it away.
  • Budapest is dirty. All the dog shit and cigarette stubs are disgusting. It’s nonsense that they only take your trash if you buy the proper bag for it.
  • I’ve seen containers that were locked up, people didn’t want homeless to dig in it. This is typical for Hungarians, being selfish, thinking that what they once owned shouldn’t belong to anyone else.
  • I’m a sculptor and these trash-statues are really lame. But if I find wire or wood, I always re-use them.
  • There is no material that couldn’t be reused. (sculptor too)
  • I heard about a law-suit against public bins, that collected data from the phones of passers-by and then projected ads on their sides, fitted to the likes and interests of the people.
Human relations in the public space:
  • Everyone is sensitive to unusuall things on the public transport. Like if you carry something like an axe or have dirty clothes from paint. Or if your phone rings.
  • I hate public transport. It smells, it’s crowded, people stare. I imagine what their thoughts are, like aggressive, hating, that they think I’m ugly…
  • In poorer districts public areas function as living areas more. People can’t “go in” the places, shops, reastaurants, etc, so they just spend time outside. Also if a couple cannot go anywhere to be private, they use the public space.
  • What bothers me the most, are the uninterested people. Like, in the video, where someone steals the wallet of a sleeping man. Everyone just stares. Old people like to talk on the tram, it makes them happy.
  • I’m tired of smiling on the metro.
  • Moving to the capital from a village is a huge change from this point of view. I experience a lot of ignorance, even at the university. People stare at their feet rather than to say hello to someone.
  • It’s dangerous to make out on the tram!
Proper use and rules of public space:
  • I hate that I cannot smoke anywhere.
  • It’s interesting when the rules of your private area confront the rules of the public spaces.
  • The rules are unwritten, but they determine what counts as “normal”.
  • In Dubai you can go to jail for kissing on the streets. You should look out once you’re there!
  • The problems start with everybody being a complete jerk.
  • I don’t feel really restricted by the rules. Once I organized a pillow-fight flash-mob of 20 people in the middle of a road and the police came. I could really use a space in the city where people could just sit down and rest. They wouldn’t have to eat on the public transport, they could eat there, without rush. But somehow we have this bad feeling, this built-in suspicion, mistrust towards the public spaces.
  • We don’t know why things works the way they do, and how exactly is that.
  • Public space is transitional. I keep the rules but only if I want to (for example: red light)
  • Why can’t I smoke in train stations? It was free till after C. 2013, why did they have to come up with this?
  • To keep a good rule is a good feeling. Bad rules are for dumb people. I’m an obsessive rule-keeper.
  • I was in Berlin this summer. It was interesting to ‘use a city’ appropriate for my age. The Mauerpark karaoke was an inspiring experience. It was amphitheater-structured, everyone was part of it, it was unexpected for me, a spontaneous, fun, free event. The crowd was mixed and everyone was respected. In Budapest people would have a bad attitude towards something like this. A rude person forces himself and others too to act somehow.
  • People in general want to be good. You won’t become a good person if you only do good because you’re afraid of the sanctions.
  • The rules in traffic are very strong. I don’t like over-ruling, like standing to the right on the moving stairs is now put out on signs and everything. If you put out signs with paragraphs on them, and punishments people remember them instantly, it gets it their heads. In Germany,when I lived there I felt like people were thinking a bit too much by these rules, and there were a bit too much of them.
  • Public transport is really oppressing. I don’t walk, I usually bike. But drivers hate bikers, and pedestrians, pedestrians hate bikers and drivers, and bikers are annoyed by people and cars. That’s not good.
  • The signs and they power vary in different situations, cities, countries. There’s an axis between Western-Europe and India. We’re in the middle I guess.
  • In Greece there’s always been “Shared Space” it’s just never been called that. It’s a good initiative, but only in smaller towns or quiet streets. The mass of people needs to be managed.

You can follow what happened that day on their pictures on THIS BLOG, some of which I copy here.



DO COMMENT, both on the event and the content, in order to keep the dialogue flowing.


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