Monday, September 5, 2011

Stenciling Sturgeon Along the Danube

While visiting Budapest this past summer, Jenny and I met a small group of folks spray painting sturgeon upon the walkway near the Danube. I wanted to watch from a distance, not being sure how to explain my interests in street art, but Jenny insisted that I introduce myself. We spent so much time photographing graffiti over the past few days that it'd be a shame to pass up an opportunity to talk with an artist of this shadowy genre.

The folks I met were really cool about allowing me to shoot video, explaining their actions as part of a broader campaign called the Danube Study Path. The effort seeks to inspire interest in the river's changing social and natural ecosystem. I guess the idea here is that you see a sturgeon on the sidewalk and wonder why you rarely see them in the water.

I'm not entirely sure whether spray-painting sturgeon will produce any results (or whether this was a "sanctioned" part of the Study Path), but I appreciated the artists' friendly tolerance of a stranger shooting video. Oh, and given the weird lighting conditions and my choice to use a relatively cheap camera, don't be surprised that the footage suffers from excess noise. Social activism isn't always pretty.

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