Danube bank, Budapest

Kollektív Fotográfia Kft. (Collective photography Ltd) was inspired by the success of the volume Fortepan Masters. The long-term aim of the publisher (György Simó), the book’s editor (Róza Tekla Szilágyi), and the concept creator (Szabolcs Barakonyi), is to explore the whole of 20th-century Hungarian photography with the same approach and gaze used when selecting the most fascinating pieces for that earlier collection: focusing on the very nature of images. Our current plan is to discover so-far unknown photo treasures and artists, and introduce them to the public through various projects. Little-known gems of photography surviving in large numbers in physical form demand urgent action, as the nature of the material assumes that such a heritage is either preserved or will be forgotten and lost in a few years—along with their historical, aesthetic, and artistic values.

The first exciting challenge taken up by the team was presenting Sándor Kereki to the wider public. Sándor Kereki’s work—produced only in one decade—is difficult to fit into commonly used categories of photography. Processing and presenting his complete oeuvre is a task that cannot wait. The collective believes that our memories, the archives of the 20th century, and our shared photographic legacy must be arranged into a form that is visible and accessible to all, securing their future visibility as well. Unless preservation is undertaken today, these treasures will disappear forever, with only a few remaining at best, exclusively in the online world.



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