Budapest 1956. The Revolution. Photo Report by Erich Lessing


What makes a people start rioting in a troubled Europe that has just emerged from a terrible war? The hardships of life; hunger, poverty, unemployment, and the challenge of re-building a social and civic structure were common in all European countries. The first part of this exhibition shows that the situation in Hungary was apparently no worse than that in other countries in Europe. What happened then? In man’s heart there is something more important than the aspiration to well-being. It is the desire for freedom; the need to give things a name, to distinguish truth from lie, to put himself at stake when judging reality. Man desires to participate in the common good, and to build a more just and human society together with others. The Budapest revolution is one of the biggest witnesses to freedom made in the last century. It was a revolution to escape from a controlling power that suffocated all expressions of thought, the power of an oppressive bureaucracy. Remembering it today, fifty years later, does not only mean re-proposing the story of a particular historical event but also the cry that is in all men in all times. The memory of this event is ever more valuable in a Western World that is becoming more and more numb and willing to “be content” with a material well-being, despite the fact that its weak foundations are becoming more and more apparent. Erich Lessing’s masterpiece photographs will tell the whole story. Lessing was born in Vienna in 1923. He photographed the Second World War while in the British Army. He worked for Life, Paris Match, Picture Post, Epoca and Quick Magazine, documenting political events in Europe after the war, above all those in the communist countries that were born at that time. He received the American Art Editor’s Award for his work about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and the Prix Nadar in 1966 for his book about the Odyssey.

Edited by Ultreya, Milan


20 Agosto 2006 - 26 Agosto 2006


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions