Hungarian House of Photography
Earlier Exhibitions

Mai Manó Gallery ("Kis Manó")

Visiting the exhibition
Jutka Rona

Curator: CSIZEK Gabriella

Open to the public:
February 7 – March 30, 2014

on Weekdays: 14.00 - 19.00
at Weekends 11.00 - 19.00

A basic role of photography is to make us remember – not only the things we would like to cherish but also what we would like to forget.
With Jutka Rona’s exhibition Survivors the Hungarian House of Photography – Mai Manó House remembers and commemorates the Roma Holocaust. We exhibit a series the strength of which lies in portraying everyday matters objectively. The photographs are core statements, which convey messages beyond those displayed on them; they talk about all of us, making one person’s story a common one. As they seemingly take no particular aspect, they become shattering as it could be any of our grandparents on the images. And while we know we know that those are not our grandparents, we also are aware of them having been affected by the situations: they were neighbors, elders with old photographs, grandparents having lunch with their grandchildren, and so on. Take a look at these photos as it is our task to know our forgotten, common stories.

Hiding out at a Dutch famer’s family, the photographer Jutka Rona survived the persecution of the European Holocaust as a child of Jewish émigré parents. Today she lives in the Netherlands.
She developed the desire to commemorate the Holocaust of the Hungarian Romas when she visited an exhibition at the Holocaust Documentation Center in Budapest, Hungary in 2006.
In 2010, the publication fulfilling Jutka Rona’s commitment was published in the Netherlands. The album portrays Roma survivors in their own environment, often in the company of their family members; it also contains interviews, unveiling their individual destinies.

In her introduction to the album, Zsuzsa Ferge sociologist claims that there Romas in Hungary are largely excluded from society; as such the mainstream society has deliberately avoided to confront with this grim chapter of Hungarian history. Processing of this slice of Roma past is obviously not aided by the fact that the Hungarian gypsies have lived in severe poverty for a long time.
In 2011, the Hungarian Napvilág Publisher released the bilingual, Hungarian-English version of the album Hungarian Romas – Survivors’ stories. It is as much of a memento as it is homage to the Hungarian Roma Holocaust. By showing the everyday life of survivors, it evokes a forgotten but true tragedy in Hungarian history in a very particular way.

Curator: Gabriella CSIZEK

Zsuzsa Ferge sociologist, Professor Emeritus, introduction (excerpt)

„It is hard to be a Gypsy in Hungary. It would not be worth to compare their situation to others’ ill fate. There are many other groups in Europe who live under similarly miserable conditions. Minorities, refugees, asylum seekers: each country has its own poor, but Jutka Rona was touched by the fate of the Hungarian Gypsies.

Marginalization, exclusion, oblivion, denial, deprivation – suffering. While, of course, life is much richer that this. Gypsy culture is also a testament to a multitude of artistic talent, from music and dance through tales to fine arts. It is also characterized by a cohesion within the family (that is unusually strong for others), as well as solidarity, unlimited love for children, and uninterrupted zest for life. And yet, today poverty is probably more depressing than ever. Jutka Rona encountered with Gypsies in this new situation – when the armor of civilization, which was already rather difficult to take on – is about to snap. Yet, miraculously, they accepted the inquiry and compassion of Jutka and told her about their buried past. Not only is her book a memento of the Holocaust, but it is also an appeal against hatred. From the depth of my heart, I wish that many would understand this double intention.”

The album is available for purchase at the Mai Manó Bookshop.

Jutka Rona

Jutka Rona was born in Budapest. When she was two years old, the family emigrated to Holland and settled in Amsterdam, where she still lives and works.

After finishing high school, she started to make picture stories in 1954. Since then she has been working for magazines, as well as been making portraits for covers and posters.

Between 1958 and 1988, she made stills for 13 Dutch feature films. From 1967 till 1991 she worked as a theatre photographer for several big Dutch theatre companies.

In 1980 she travelled through the polar region of Lapland with the Laps and their reindeer.

In 1985 she walked the road to Santiago de Compostela and in 1988, again on foot, through the jungles of West Irian Jaya (formerly known as Netherlands New Guinea). Her latest documented voyage was to Iran in 2009.

1975 Wolvenstraat 1974, a street in Amsterdam
1979 Art travel guide of Holland
1991-1993 four travel guides for the Dutch publishing house Kosmos: Budapest, Vienna, Cuba and Hungary, and a book about convents and abbeys in Holland and Flanders
1999 On tiptoe, a photo book about children who suffer from Duchenne’s disease, a muscle atrophy
2000 An imaginary life, a photo book about what her life would have been if she had stayed in Hungary, with a Dutch and a Hungarian edition
2001 A world of silence, another book about convents
2001-2006 every year a photo book about a Hungarian village, together with 12 other Hungarian photographers
2009 Inside/Outside, a diary in pictures
2010 Hungarian Gypsies, Survivors’ Stories, about Holocaust survivors
2011 the Hungarian and English edition: Magyar cigányok, Túlélők vallanak/Hungarian Gypsies, Survivors’ Stories

EXHIBITIONS Several group exhibitions in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Breda, Naarden, Schoorl), as well as in Hungary (Budapest, Pécs, Dunaszekcső, and Kötcse)

Solo exhibitions
1972 Group pictures, Amsterdam
1974 Theatre photographs, Amsterdam
1974 Photo album, Amsterdam
1979 Queen Street, Toronto
1988/89 Travelling theatre photo exhibition in several museums in the Netherlands
1992 The road to Santiago, Amsterdam
1999 General photo’s, Amsterdam
1999 On tiptoe, pictures from the book, Huis Marseille Museum for Photography, Amsterdam
2000 An imaginary life, Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam
2001 An imaginary life, Bálint Ház, Budapest
2002 General photo’s, Schoorl
2004 Selection from 50 years of photographing, Spinoza Ház, Budapest
2009 Inside/Outside, pictures from the book, Amsterdam
2010 Hungarian Gypsies, Schoorl
2011 The unexpected glance, Amsterdam

The following Dutch institutions and collectors possess work by Jutka Rona

Rijksdienst Beeldende Kunst
Hartkamp (2nd collection)
SBK Amsterdam
Letterkundig Museum
Theater Instituut Nederland
EYE Film Institute Netherlands
Gemeentemuseum Maassluis
Leids Prentenkabinet
Gemeentearchief Amsterdam
Josje Janse-De Ronde Bresser

Hungarian House of Photography in Mai Manó House
H-1065 Budapest-Terézváros, Nagymező utca 20.
Telephone: 473-2666
Fax: 473-2662

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