Máté Bartha

6x6 Europe Talent: Máthé Barta, Hungary

Máté Bartha is a great visual storyteller with exceptional sensitivity towards even minor changes in the dynamic of a group of people. He also has an ability to translate his findings into a lyric but also very direct visual code.” - Istvan Viragvolgyi, curator and photo editor at Capa Centre and 6x6 nominator, Hungary.

Based in Budapest, Máté Barta works in the fields of photography and documentary film. After receiving the National Scholarship of Hungary for photographers, he self-published his first book, titled Common Nature, in 2014. For his most recent photography project, Kontakt, he received the Capa Grand Prize Fellowship in 2017, the Robert Capa Grand Prize Hungary in 2018, and the Louis Roederer Discovery Award at Rencontres d’Arles in 2019. 

Kontakt

The Hungarian NGO “Honvédsuli” (Home Defense School) is committed to teaching discipline, patriotism, and camaraderie to children and adolescents between 10 and 18, in a society that they believe is becoming inactive and disconnected. The cadets camp under the open sky, guard a fire, hike, and sing together. In addition, they are taught how to use airsoft weapons (replicas of real guns) and spend weeks according to strict military discipline. Entering puberty, this is the first time they face expectations, responsibility, and the opposite sex. Friendships and a strong community are forged, bruises form, and push-ups are set as a punishment. For many of them, these adventures provide a solid foundation for life, a framework to understand the world, and their position in it.

While reporting from military-themed summer camps for children and adolescents, Kontakt raises questions about their place in our society, as well as observes our attitude towards strict discipline, weapons, and war. 

A navigation game where cadets need to find their way down a hill blindfolded. Holding to each other helps in this attempt. 2018.

The week-long camps culminate in a war game where teams compete against each other in the surrounding wilderness. 2018.

Many personal relationships start at these camps. As they are about to arrive at the peak of their adolescence, they experience freedom, boundaries, pain, and love, perhaps for the first time. 2018.

The ban on phone usage or camping itself puts a heavy physical and mental strain on many of them. However, being in the wild nature is an important part of the camps. 2018

Merging realities

Merging Realities is a project focusing on the residents of the Miskolc Autism Foundation. Since 1992, the foundation has been home to 50 people living with autism, providing them with holistic care including education, and therapeutic activities. It also hosts the MAACRAFT project, a social workshop promoting the production of different handcrafted items, which are sold to financially support the employees living with autism.

The project was made possible by the "Two Heads" residency program, bringing people with autism and artists closer to inspire works of art that are able to communicate the positive values that the foundation stands for.

Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication, that appears in changes in perception and social interaction. For these reasons, people with autism are sometimes in need of a protected environment. 2014.

There are currently 50 residents in the foundation. They live in customized rooms and are provided with daily free-time and therapeutic activities coordinated by a staff of experts. 2014.

Afternoon at the playground. 2014.

Many residents find their partners at the foundation. 2014.

Discover work by the 6x6 Europe talents, and find out about 6x6’s nomination and selection process.