Freskófalu – Fresco willage

My story.. the other hundred competition.
History of a small village called Fresco village after being succesful working on a great project Baseline conditions early in 2009.

The Roma are the absolute losers of the change in regimes in Hungary: according to estimates, some 70% of the Roma population lost their jobs then, and these jobs have never been re-created since. These people were largely driven back to the tiny villages of the most backward regions of the country, sinking into deeper and deeper poverty. In 2009, Bódvalenke of Borsod county in Northern periphery of the country was an unknown, grey, desolate, extremely poor little village, (average per capita monthly income below EUR 40) with litter everywhere; the people (95% Roma) – without any prospect or hope – were sunk in depression and apathy

Objectives. The Fresco Village project has a twofold objective: globally, to contribute to the dismantling of prejudices and locally, to help the village out of dire poverty – that is, TO PROVE THAT A ROMA VILLAGE IS ABLE TO STAND ON ITS OWN FEET.

Methods. Roma painters are invited from Hungary and other European countries to paint murals on the walls of the houses. Through this a tourist attraction unique in the world has come into being, of which every Roma can be proud (boosting self-esteem and dignity) and which deservedly elicited the appreciation and admiration of the majority population.

Freskófalu – Fresco willage

Implementation. Bódvalenke is internationally famous as the only village in the world, where the walls of the houses are covered by works of art. So far, thirteen Roma painters painted altogether 26 murals. According to art historians visiting Bódvalenke, of these at least six paintings are absolutely “world standard” that any museum in the world would be happy to exhibit.

Results. The communication performance of the project has surpassed all expectations. Almost all the major television broadcasters (Reuters, BBC, CBC, Al Jazeera, ORF, Euronews CableTelevision,  etc.) and many important and less important  newspapers and magazines (The New York Times, the California Times, Le Monde, Der Standard, etc.) and virtually every significant Hungarian medium carried at least one  report on the Fresco Village project.

Budget. The project has been fundamentally underfinanced, it is kept alive largely by the enthusiasm of its participants. The main sponsor sare personal volutary jobs, financial  National Cultural Fund  and CIB Social Responsibility Foundation

Risks. Our greatest failure is that we have not been able to raise investment funding to build up tourist infrastructure. Our gravest difficulties lie in an environment burdened an distorted by prejudice and the current social policy. Because of the latter, per capita average monthly income (if receipts from project activities are disregarded) plummeted by about 30% to about EUR 25 over the past 3 years, while inflation hitting the locals was at least 50%, coming close to humanitarian disaster.

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