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Yellow Star Houses of Budapest

17.02.17-31.03.17

An exhibition of photographs by Nigel Swann at the Irish Architectural Archive

Booking Information

Yellow Star Houses of Budapest

45 Merrion Square East, D02 VY60, Ireland

17.02.17-31.03.17

Booking Information

Yellow Star Houses of Budapest

45 Merrion Square East, D02 VY60, Ireland

17.02.17-31.03.17

Yellow Star Houses of Budapest is an exhibition of photographs by Nigel Swann currently on view in the Irish Architectural Archive.

From 21 June until late November 1944, all Budapest citizens defined as Jews by the race laws in force at the time were obliged to wear the yellow star, and to live under curfew in a designated house also marked with the yellow star. Across the city, there were almost 2,000 such yellow star houses (apartment blocks), a dispersed ghetto which accommodated around 220,000 people for almost half a year. Because the aim of this forced mass relocation was to concentrate the Budapest Jewish population in preparation for deportation, each family was allowed just one room.

Having documented Budapest’s various inner city districts from 2005 to 2015, Irish photographer Nigel Swann discovered that many of the buildings he had photographed had been yellow star houses. When Swann found the official lists of the yellow star houses published in early 2014 by the Open Society Archives Budapest on yellowstarhouses.org, he identified and re-photographed a number of the buildings. For the exhibition, Swann has created a series of rigorously formal images that comprise a visual typology of these often mundane-looking apartment blocks. The façades speak of both a darker and, until recently, a hidden history and a culture of forgetting.