Hungarian Cubes – Hungarian Cubes, by photographer Katharina Roters, documents the post-communist era homes in the Hungarian countryside.
Hungarian Cubes – The period in time was known as "Goulash Communism," a sort of relaxed strain of communism.
Hungarian Cubes – János Kádár, who presided over Hungary, was more tolerant of public dissent.
Hungarian Cubes – It's fitting, then, that during the Goulash Communism era, a peculiar architectural trend took off: People started painting the facades of their houses with abstract shapes, in wild shades of color.
Hungarian Cubes – Roters noticed the painted "Magyar Kocka", or Hungarian Cube, houses in 2003 after moving from Germany to a small Hungarian town.
Hungarian Cubes – Some homes have beach house-like decorations...
Hungarian Cubes – ...others have trompe l'oeil paintings around the window, like facsimiles of shutters or trimming...
Hungarian Cubes – ...and others have abstracted paintings of sunlight.
Hungarian Cubes – Communist architecture dictated that city blocks be filled with square, economical row houses.
Hungarian Cubes – They were designed for efficiency, meaning every house was the same, and every house was boring.
Hungarian Cubes – "Today you can buy a car you like, you can do everything you like. In this uniform world where people were not allowed to have some individuality, you had to wait for the same car as your neighbor," Roters says.
Hungarian Cubes – "The facade is what I can show to the outside to the world. This was a free space at this time where the people can show and express their individuality."
Hungarian Cubes – The houses are a relic of some rare individualism during a time of homogeneous, community-centric thinking.
Hungarian Cubes – Hungarian Cubes is available through Park Books.