Photographer David Botond, from Odorheiu Secuiesc, has received the "European Citizen 2021" Prize from the European Parliament for the Geofolk project, which brings together the largest collection of photographs in the world with folk costumes, images captured in recent years.
"The European Parliament has decided the winners of the "European Citizen's Prize 2021." Geofolk from Romania is among the 28 projects awarded at the European level. Geofolk was launched 9 years ago in Odorheiu Secuiesc and includes a remarkable photo collection of traditional women's, men's and children's costumes from all over Europe. The "European Citizen's Prize" is granted for exceptional achievements and is given every year by the European Parliament," reads a post on the Facebook page of the European Parliament's Office in Romania.
The Geofolk Facebook page also states that this project is one that unites, while admiring and preserving the identity elements of communities.
David Botond told that it all started in 2013, when he participated in a folk dance festival in Sarajevo and, for the first time, he did not know how to use those photos.
Two years later he made an exhibition entitled "Transylvania, a wonderful woman," which was presented in many cities, such as Brussels, Budapest, Helsinki, Tallinn, London or Manchester, the photos being taken in the glamour style. At the time, many ethnographers appreciated the photographs, but their opinion was that the folk costumes were not completely captured.
After this moment, David Botond started to take photos in which he presents the folk costumes in all their beauty.
He testified that he had taken about 100,000 photographs over time and processed over 30,000 of them.
Last year, when all his travels were canceled due to the pandemic, he came up with the idea to show the public what he had accomplished so far. Thus, he varnished an exhibition that, on an area of 54 metres in length, he presents photographs with 1,700 costumes from around the world, taken in 56 different countries and representing 240 nationalities.
Also last year, the Geofolk Facebook page was launched, where photos with descriptions in the mother tongue of the person wearing the folk costume are posted.
The photos are much appreciated, but Botond admits that it is much harder to get a description of the costume than to take the photo.
The news that his project received the "European Citizen's Prize 2021" surprised him, but he was happy, especially since he usually does not participate in competitions.
He will receive his award in November at a ceremony in Brussels.
David Botond is 49 years old, is a professional photographer and is part of a family of photographers from Odorheiu Secuiesc, taking various photographs. This year he will open his 60th exhibition, Agerpres informs.