Images by Balazs Gardi
Many amazing people land in our dear delirious Mexico City and indirectly pass through TÃ³xico’s doors; so we have decided to start this new series ofÂ ‘descending’ blog posts, featuring old friends and new faces who are here for one reason or another: sometimes to visit, sometimes to stay.
Balazs falls somewhere besides both of these poles: he is now (supposedly) based in Mexico City, but he spends his time coming and going, jumping from one precarious slates of ice to the next, hanging out of helicopters, speeding around in mad racing cars, covering forgotten wars for years on end, and is now obsessed with the water crisis that he is witnessing all over the world in its different forms. He has won three first prizes of World Press Photo, the most prestigious photojournalism competition in the world. Plus the Prix Bayeux War Correspondents Award, the PX3 Photographer of the Year Award, a PDN Photography Prize, among many others.
One of his first photo projects had him traveling with the Roma (or Gypsies if you prefer) for years around Eastern Europe, and so began his fascination with telling the stories of things that happen in the margins of our eyes. He self-directs and self-finances most of his work as a journalist, to keep his independence and not have to only cover what interests the fickle main stream media.
I became a photographer on the advice of my grandmother. I had thought I’d become a ditch-digger, or some other kind of laborer, but she had it in her head that photography was a good path for a young man with no patience for authority or office work. I shall always be grateful to her. My childhood in Hungary coincided with the last years of Soviet communism, and I grew up during the chaotic transition to capitalism. Perhaps early exposure to so many -isms is the reason I have always been such a skeptical person. At least, I have always been very curious, but I have not always accepted the explanations that I have been given. My grandmother was right, and I discovered that photography was a way to learn about people, their situations, and their problems, as well as the world.
And, of course, to learn about the thousand and seven uses for duct tape it seems.
(More on Balazs here. Plus a video interview togetherÂ with Teru Kuwayama, also a TED Fellow)
(They are working together on a great project:Â more on that soon)