Tea and cake for ‘Use of Public Space and homeless people’ – December 9 (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: 40-50

The 9th of December of 2013, the collective Efemertér, formed by art students from Budapest, organized their final presentation as a public event, with the format of The Other Market. They offered hot Tea and Cake, in exchange of people’s opinions on the use of public space in the city, specially related to the use that homeless people do of it.

Here are some pictures of the day, and a report from the Efemertér team, including people’s opinions. The event was also featured on Hungarian national television, with two reportages (ONE and TWO).

The closing event of Efemertér project was an event on Kálvin tér (Budapest) on the 9th of December.

The day-long event consisted of an upgraded version of the Other Market and a mobile exhibition visualizing the summary of the outcome of the event series (Efemertér).

The aim of the closing event was to give space to an open discussion about the problem-map we created and mediated with an installation on the field. To this we used the model of the Other Market again.

People gave us their opinions and ideas in exchange for hot tea and cake.

Our topics:

  • -What is public space?
  • -How do our public spaces become discriminative?
  • -Those, who we don’t see, don’t exist?

9th of December, Monday
Opening: 10:00
Beggar yoga with PR group: 13:00-15:00
Closing: 16:00
Location: Baross utca x Kálvin tér, between the christmas market and the library

The installation was created by Szabolcs Molnár, Dávid Smiló, Nikolász Sztavropulosz és Miki Zsámboki.
For the help with the graphics we want to say a big thank you for: Ádám Albert, Csöngének Balla, Kristóf Láng, Viki Nagy, Luca Markó and Lejla Tóth.


We talked to about 40-50 people, shortly or for hours. We gave out 20 liters of tea and three baskets of cakes. Our supporting program was featured in the news in national television and various online news-sites.

There are continuously new areas marked by local governments which homeless people are restricted to ‘use as living area’, despite of the lack of an accurate definition of the term. With 31th of December 2013 the grace period was over, the law came into force.

“You always have to tell your children how to avoid the areas where homeless live. They’re always aggressive, smelly, they shit in front of the children. Of course the ban isn’t a solution, there should be residences. It’s pretty scary how the number of people living on the streets grows.”

“It would be a solution to make them move to small villages in the countryside, where they could use the deserted houses, lands, even do something with it.”

“Homeless people are taken care of. They collect clothes for them, there are many organizations, many kind, it’s not true that they can’t take a proper shower.”

“There’s a movie calles Versailles, it’s about homeless living in the forests in the surroundings of Paris. I see that they build up shacks and live somehow, but how do they get the food from? You can only get food if you beg for money or if you steal… But they lived there, isolated, they didn’t disturb anyone, and they weren’t disturbed either.”

“They have to be loved, not humiliated, they need to be helped in practice too. The need time and attention, not really money.”

“I fell sorry for them, because you have to get to the hostel too! The situation of the underpasses is terrible, they don’t have anywhere to go, but I agree with the law. Because something has to be done!”

“The hostels aren’t really good places, traditionally there are 10 people in one room. Where I am you can stay as long as you want, but witout alcohol or drugs. Only a few manage that..”

“-Yes, it’s dangerous to go near a homeless person, because they steal. There are enough homes. They choose the streets! They’re violent, they won’t go to the homes because of excuses like their stuff gets stolen and it’s not safe.

-And they don’t have a right for safety, proper residencies, what about the many vacant estates?

-Maybe these empty estates should be made into flats for them. Society should watch out better for people who are not yet, but about to be slipped down. They’re the honest people who they should deal with.”

“I’m sorry, but I agree with the law. They’re violent. By all means, I think it’s the state, who should act.”

“This project is a good idea, but it’s not really going anywhere like this. A mass protest is needed, not small-scale actions like this.”

“No one should be told that you can’t be here, because it’s public space. For example this is a very cozy situation, we drink tea, we talk, it (public space) should be like this all the time.”

“I only feel good in parks, where there aren’t any people, because they’re aggressive, vicious, sad and not nice.”

“-They wallow around drunk!
-Some who have an apartment drink heavy.
-At least they’re doing it at home.”

“God protects me. I have someone too, who I can protect, and theres’s always persistence. I’m human too, you’re human too.”

“It’s everyone’s interest to make it better for the homeless. In old time for example the village supported its beggar.”

“I think there are some places, where homeless should be banned out from. I’m homeless too, but I’m proud, that I don’t drink, I’m groomed, even though I have many health issues. I’m not like ‘them’, those causing the problems.”

“About public space, pillow fight and that sort of actions divide the space. We usually make music at Kálvin square. The homeless issue is a complicated question, I can’t give you a thought-through opinion on it.”

“In Kindergartens the leftover food has to be transported as dangerous waste- the nurses used to take it home, at least someone ate it back then.”

“There is no such poverty and misery anywhere else in Europe. I’m from Germany, we follow the situation in Hungary and it makes us feel miserable too.”

“If we can’t help others, at least we should leave them alone.”


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