architect: Anna Iszály
architectural consultant: Péter Kovács DLA
My choice of topic is personal. I could say that I didn’t look for it, but the topic found me. As a resident of Tiszavasvári and because my father is the editor-in-chief of the local TV station, I had the opportunity to take part in a filming that was done in the gypsy settlement there. I was interested in the topic even before this, but the shooting left me with such an experience that I feel it is even more important to me to do something for the future of these people.
Tiszavasvári is home to one of the country’s largest gypsy settlements. (’Beás’ gypsies). I attended primary and secondary school in this city. I could say that I have been in contact with this culture all my life, so I had the opportunity to get to know them.
The situation of Gypsies in our city is very serious, despite the fact that segregation in education seems to coming to an end. (Data and analysis can be found in my study prepared for the plan.) Disadvantages (social, community, educational, health, training and employment) that have been deepening for several generations have accumulated among the people living here, and it is impossible to deal with them on their own.
Before starting planning, I made a lot of research on this culture and its traditions with particular regard to the Gypsies of Tiszavasvári. I read various integration programs and studies. The thing that most expressed to me what we are looking for, what we want to bring back from the past, was Sándor Sára’s documentary: Gypsies. The film was made in 1963. It shows very well that at that time these people still had the drive, the fighting, responsible attitude and the will to change. In terms of poverty, their situation has not changed too much, but their social esteem is unfortunately getting worse and worse, which has an impact on their self-image.
In my opinion the task is not necessarily to force them to assimilate, but to show their values through their own culture. For this, we need to give them motivation so that they have the will to do something for a better future.