On the occasion of New Year I have updated the future, and put on the map the few more postcards found during the year, which faithfully represent how the cities of Hungary should look if the past progressed on the right track. And again I wondered how unchangeable our grand-grandfathers imagined the future, how they thought that the dizzy technical development will essentially not effect their way of life, dress or urbanism. In fact, they invented the steampunk.
Only on one single postcard glints something totally new, something that foreshadows a fundamental change of things. Not in a Hungarian town, but in today’s Hamburg, as envisioned a hundred years ago, in the seat of the Hagenbeck company touring exotic animals and humans about Europe. On the elegant Jungfernstieg promenade we see the familiar scenes of our age, the overhead sky railway, the scheduled air boats, the bicycles and automobiles racing at an unfathomable speed and thus accumulating accident on accident. However, among these accessories that were a commonplace a hundred years ago, suddenly there appears the unthinkable, the impossible, something just as absurd as the stork bringing a child in the upper corner – and the only one among all which finally became a reality. A black man. A black man in Europe. On the promenade, in tails and top hat. And free.