Only 3 weeks ago, a small delegation of the ECC went on a promotional tour in Hungary. And this for several reasons ;
First of all, the ECC noticed that the number of entries for the biennial contest of the ECC was on a low level. That’s rather surprising for a country that has a tradition in cartoons and therefore has so many talented cartoonists.
The second reason for the trip to Hungary was to support the efforts of Istvan KELEMEN, who is the driving force in the cartoon contest of his hometown Baja.
A final reason is that there’s good and cheap beer and plenty of pretty girls and women in Hungary. I admit that this last reason to go to Hungary is totally irrelevant for this article.
So, on the 18th September two meetings were planned in the capital Budapest :
We first were invited by the president of MUOSZ, Mr. Tamas MOLDOVAN. MUOSZ is the photojournalist department of the association of Hungarian journalists.
It also serves the interests of a section of Hungarian cartoonists.We quickly came to an agreement for an exhibition swap in 2016; an overview of 10 Belgian cartoonists in an exhibition in Budapest and 10 Hungarian cartoonists in an exhibition in Kruishoutem, Belgium. The Hungarian artist and cartoonist, Tibor GAAL (known as T-Boy) and one of his colleague cartoonists guided us for an interesting walk throughout Budapest ; market squares, metro stations and a small cartoon exhibition in the University were on the program.
Later on that day, we gave a presentation about the ECC in the kArton gallery (www.karton.hu) owned and managed by Mr. Peter KOZMA. He’s an excellent host and provided everybody with drinks and snacks. Some 15 cartoonists and artists of KOKSZ (www.koksz.hu) , a group of the best Hungarian satirical fine artists and cartoonists, attended this presentation. Among these artists were Tamas CSASZAR, Ivan BOJCSUK, Joe BEKESI, Mihaily KOS, Edua SZUCS and Andras HALTER.
There were many questions on how to finance an exclusive platform for cartoonists as there is no such thing in Hungary today.
This second section of cartoonists was also interested in having an exhibition in Belgium. Therefore a collaboration between the two sections would be very convenient.
On the 19th September we went off to the town of Baja. It’s a 3 hours trip by train that puts you back in time. Railway stations are very small and staffed by at least 3 persons. A charming experience!
After the usual speeches, we had the opportunity to talk to members of the city council. We emphasized the importance and the impact of the contest on the cultural and touristic development of their city. In that way our presence was a boost for Istvan KELEMEN, cartoonist, illustrator and above all organiser of the contest. We hope that in the future he will get even more back-up from the city council in order to avoid that he has to finance the biggest part of this contest himself.
These are the winners of the Baja Cartoon Contest 2014 with theme : Eyeglasses ; First prize -100.000 HUF : Zoltan LEHOTAY (Hungary), Second prize 60.000 HUF : Pol LEURS (Luxemburg) and Third prize 50.000 HUF : Oleg GUTSOL (Ukraine). We also mention the diploma that went to Norbert VAN YPERZEELE (Belgium).
That same evening we tasted the famous fish soup of Baja, together with some shots of Palinka in a local restaurant.
The next days Istvan KELEMEN – with a little hangover – took us on a trip to several cities in the neighbourhood of Baja. We enjoyed the visits to the wine festival at Szekszard the cultural centre of Pecs and the wine cellars at Villany . Many thanks Istvan.
By our return in Budapest, Mihaily KOS, cartoonist and architect, was so kind to be our guide in the nearby cosy and cultural village of Szentendre; He showed us that modern architecture could perfectly blend into this old village. Also many thanks to Mihai !
We consider that the we succeeded in the goals of our trip to Hungary ; many Hungarian artists are now motivated to participate in the contest of the ECC, we prepared an agreement on a mutual exhibition and finally we got some new contacts and even friends in the Cartoon World. Mission accomplished !