For the last two years, Hungary can be viewed as a transit zone, located on the route of thousands of refugees coming from Africa, the Middle East and the war-torn region of Syria.
However, this country is rarely the final destination for many of these people, as Western Europe still remains as the primary yearned target. The Hungarian government ordered the mounting of a barbed wire fence along the Southern border to deflect the old track of the refugees. However, this has not solved the refugee crisis, but only transposed its focus.
The unknown crowds have disappeared, leaving behind only the belongings. T-shirts, clothes, mobile phone chargers or warming foils; the indispensable objects of a possible survival. Besides a few refugees, today, these objects remain as the sole memento of this 21st century exodus and those few ones, who ended their way in Hungary and after all chose this place as their second home.
Zsófia Pályi was born in Budapest, Hungary on the 1st of August, 1982. She works as a photographer, based in Budapest. She received her bachelor’s degree in photography from the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest in 2010. She later received her Master's Degrees at the Department of Media and Communication and Department of Portuguese Language at ELTE University, Budapest. She also studied one year at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Universidade de Lisboa and at the Faculty of History at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal.
She has been working for nine years for Origo, one of the leading online news portal in Hungary. Now she works mainly for magazines; and besides focuses on her personal projects. She is interested in feature stories, portrait, documentary and art photography.
She has won Hungarian state scholarship Pécsi József Fine Art Photography Grant three times and received several prizes at the Hungarian Press Photo Competition. Recently she has been invited to participate in the Danube Revisited project with all the former Inge Morath Award winners.
Her photos have been purchased internationally, by the New York Times, CNN Photo Blog, Vice Uk, Al Jazeera, El País, Marie Claire Arabia, Chinese Blog Magazine, The Sunday Guardian, UNHCR Hungary, the Hungarian State Opera, the Hungarian National Ballet Company, the Palace of Arts MÜPA and Open Society Foundation in Budapest. She took part in the Magnum Workshop with photographer Ian Berry, in Budapest. Her series ’Balaton, the Hungarian Sea’ was nominated ’Coup de Cœur ANI 2014’ at Perpignan Photo Festival.
She was a member of the Leader Committee of Association of Young Photographers Hungary (FFS) between 2013 and 2015. In 2016, she just formed her own association Klipper Art Space with her colleague Zsuzsa Bakonyi to focus on group photography exhibitions, workshops and future art projects with her fellow photographer members. She is also a member of Pictorial Collective, a group of Hungarian photographers.