The blog of Laszlo Bokor

The blog of Laszlo Bokor

Monday, 13 February 2017

Mogersdorf and a forgotten outdoor exhibition


I have started a little project in which I am going through my photo archive and aiming at selecting nice ones for some arty utilisation. It is a hardcore project as I have got over a hundred thousand of digital images on my hard drives, because I, apart from a couple of topics, take pictures of everything without an actual conception. This is why it is worth having a look at photographs in these old folders where I often find treasures. Last night I had a spare hour, so I thought I would look at a folder that has thousands of photos from 2009 and I found one that was labelled 'Mogersdorf' and dated the 5th September 2009.

Mogersdorf, or also known as Nagyfalva in Hungarian or Modinci in Slovenian, is a small village near Jennersdorf in Eastern Austria (Burgenland). (Click here for a map.) It is a famous place as it was here that Raimondo Montecuccoli fought the Battle of Szentgotthárd (or Battle of Mogersdorf) against the Ottoman Empire in 1664. The place is literally situated on the other side of the Hungarian-Austrian border, and if you drive westerly from the Hungarian town of Szentgotthárd, you will see a massive cross on a hill-top which is the monument of this historic battle (Picture 1).

Picture 1: Stonecross of Schösslberg (click to enlarge)
Photo by Bokor, L. (2009)

The pictures that I found in this folder are, however, not of Mogersdorf which is great; because, apart from a couple of things, it is a boring little place. But on that day I was there, I found a mini exhibition of artwork posters on the top of the hill, just by the cross. 14 to be exact and these artworks were themed: globalisation and peace (Picture 2)

Picture 2: Mini exhibition on Schlößlberg (click to enlarge)
Photo by Bokor, L. (2009)

They are reflective, poignant, and provocative, so they are amazing! As a researcher, I find these images important as I deal with issues in a local and global context; therefore, they have a lot to tell us about the world and the society we live in. 

I took pictures of all 14 images, but for some reason, I did not take one of the description panel itself. What a shame! Because now I have no idea who exactly did these artworks (though some could be identified as they are signed and dated) and where they are from, and why these were displayed in Mogersdorf. I tried to do a little research on it, but I have not been able to sink into the subject and find any details of this exhibition. Fortunately, I have the pictures of the artworks and I am going to share them with you. Hopefully, this post may reach someone who knows more about these artists and their artworks and perhaps we will get some more information on the display itself.  

Please enjoy. Don't rush through the images (click to enlarge).

~ Laszlo







Photos by Bokor, L. (2009)

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The fucking cunt vs. The foreign twat

Hi Folks,

Today, let's have a little talk about dog walking and a certain type of dog owners. But before I get into the topic, I must tell you a fact (if you follow my blog then you probably already know it well): I am a Hungarian living in Britain. I first arrived as an exchange student in 2007, and whilst studying Environmental Geography at the University of Wolverhampton, I found myself in the pet sitting business and started working for a friend in Wolverhampton. After a couple of years living and studying at different locations in Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary, in 2011, I returned to Wolverhampton and suddenly found myself in the pet sitting business again. I have been self-employed throughout my time in Britain, and currently, I am the owner of two Shrewsbury-based businesses: a research-education, and a pet sitting one.

Even though I live in Shrewsbury, I travel to Wolverhampton on weekdays where I walk four dogs (two pairs). These are the only dogs I walk as they belong to my friends and I have been looking after two of them for six years, the other two for three and two years respectively. The five of us set off for our long walk on a daily basis in the Penk Rise and/or Perton greens in Wolverhampton, sometimes we wander off further on the dusty tracks. We have our daily routine, my dogs are always kept on the lead and I have a couple of reasons to be as strict as possible on this:
  1. As much as I love these furry domesticated pets, I am not the owner of them; therefore, as a pet sitter, it is my personal responsibility to look after them and guarantee their safety. You never know with dogs, they may see something and run off, or eat something poisonous (as mine love scavenging anyway) and then we would need to face serious consequences. Luckily, apart from a couple of minor issues, due to my strict approach to rules and regulations, I have had a very peaceful six years in the profession.
  2. No matter how sweet they are or seem, you can never trust dogs. And although not on purpose, they may cause harm or disturbance to other people or animals, through a momentarily violent or playful action. Not everybody likes dogs jumping up at them, or being irritated by other dogs. It is a sane and rational reason that every dog owner should respect without trying to convince me how lovely and friendly their dog(s) is(are). I am really not interested in this; I am only interested in the control they have over their dog. 
  3. They can cause damage to wildlife and other domesticated animals. Many of the greens are some kind of nature reserve and are homes for a number of other species. Humans cause enough environmental problems, uncontrollable dogs contribute to this too. You still see dogs running free on mountain tracks, and sometimes hear that a lamb or a sheep was attacked where dogs should be strictly on leads. 
  4. There is a dog control order in place, called “Dogs on Lead by Direction Wolverhampton Order 2007”. I have two pieces of proof for this. One is the picture below which is placed on site at Penk Rise, the other one is from the official governmental website of the City of Wolverhampton Council (Click here). 

Every day we go and take a long walk in this local green, Penk Rise (Tettenhal Wood), and apart from a couple of exceptions, my four dogs are the only ones kept on leads. Four leads to be exact. But many of the dogs here and there are just running free whilst their owners walk (sometimes literally) ‘miles’ away from them, heads down on their phones without any control whatsoever over their animals. In most cases, I just try to avoid confrontations; therefore, I only care if these free running dogs come near us, as my dogs get too excited and start tangling me and each other up, or simply start pulling and go crazy. Also, one of my dogs is a rescue dog and has serious anxiety when unknown dogs are around, so if a dog approached him, he would most likely attack, bite, and would not release his ‘prey’. It is enough burden for him to be muzzled up at all times. So, for me, it is extremely frustrating to have to put up with all the people who seem to not give a flying fuck in regards to public area regulations, but more importantly, does not even care about me who keeps his team on a lead. This happens almost every day and you need to bow to the ‘dog owners’, whilst they do not give a shit about you and your lot. I am sure many responsible dog owners who understand me and my concerns have heard "oh he is very friendly!", "oh why don't you let them off the lead?", "oh my dog needs a lot of running", and so on and on and on. Weirdly, I never see them picking up poo that their dogs produce even though that is another regulation, called The Fouling of Land by Dogs Wolverhampton Order 2007, in place (Click here).

Today whilst I was walking through the mud with my bunch, all we could see in the distance was a Spaniel running from left to right, back and forth. We had seen that couple (the dog and the owner) many times before, but we had never crossed each other's ways. As we were approaching the Spaniel, the owner also popped up, stood under a tree on his phone (the typical example). As normal, just like me and my dogs would not even be there he ignores us and carries on talking on his phone. We are always ignored by people like these. I made the decision to overtake them with as much space as possible. But of course, the Spaniel just insisted on coming over to us, but before it happened, I had shouted “heeeyy” which made the dog stop. By then the owner instantly got off his phone and jumped straight at me, using the standard English abusive words, yelling at me that I should not shout at his dog (note that instead of controlling his dog, he told me off). Since I have always stood up for myself and for my dogs, I yelled back at him and called him a “fucking cunt” (since he also was using abusive language) and reminded him that he was obliged by law to control his dog and keep it on a lead; whereas a penalty fee of £65 would apply if there was an offence. But then suddenly all he could say was “what?”, “what?”, “where is that written?”, “I don't even understand what you are saying, you foreign twat”, and when his dog came near to us, I shouted once again and that was the second time within the space of a minute that I was verbally and physically threatened for shouting at an uncontrolled dog and its owner (note once again he told me off instead of controlling the actual damn dog). 

And this is just one story of many that have happened to me during the last many years. Bear also in mind, many doggy people think they can do anything they like. It is a bit like taxi drivers. As if they are a superior species. But sadly they do this everywhere, no matter if it is in Penk Rise or a national park. I, however, have to raise my voice against this and point out that since there is a regulation in place, I have never seen any warden who would enforce this law. Why is this "dogs on the lead by direction" order in place if it is not properly monitored by the council. Most of the dog owners have no clue about it, or if they have, they simply do not give a shit about it!

Let me conclude here by pointing out one more thing without generalising: in this country, there are way too many people who do not respect laws and regulations. When it comes to dog owners, this becomes a significantly more complex and sensitive topic. I personally do not care if they ignore these laws, but I do care when they involve me and my dogs against my will and in return for standing up for myself and my four-legged friends, I am then even verbally assaulted. What I have personally learned in the past ten years is that many people in this country seem very kind and friendly, but when a non-British national points out a law or rule, then you are just a “foreign twat”. But I am personally proud to be a responsible foreign twat than an irresponsible British cunt. Time to move on…

~ Laszlo