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Paintings of Abouzar Soltani at the Canvases of the Future exhibition

Peace, Hope and Joy
A Conversation with Abouzar Soltani

Translation is available for this content

Váltás magyarra

At the Canvases of the Future exhibition, artists from around the world painted their dreams. Abouzar Soltani, who showed us around the exhibition, said in his introduction how much he likes to live in Hungary. He feels that he has been reborn in Győr, where he now lives. According to him, the hearts of Hungarians are different from Hungarian politics, and the people here are kind. Obviously, it is difficult for many to understand how difficult it was for him to come with his little boy, because ‘when a man has everything, it is difficult to understand the one who has lost everything’. But this understanding can be a means of art.

When did you begin painting?

5 years ago in Serbia, while we were waiting to be admitted to the Hungarian transit zone. I was attracted to painting and calligraphy.

Why did you start painting? How did this idea come about?

A group arrived at the camp in Serbia where I was living with my son Armin. They helped us a lot, and somehow I wanted to reciprocate their goodness. I wanted to show them that I understood their kindness. That’s why I started doing calligraphy. That was what was available to me as a means of self-expression.

credit: Dániel Nagy / Józsefváros Municipality
credit: Dániel Nagy / Józsefváros Municipality
credit: Dániel Nagy / Józsefváros Municipality

Do you still paint?

Yes, and I want to take this to an increasingly professional level.

What does painting mean to you, what does it give you?

Above all – peace, hope and joy. We receive a lot of kindness and attention from people here, and I can give that back. This is how joy can be shared.

credit: Dániel Nagy / Józsefváros Municipality
credit: Dániel Nagy / Józsefváros Municipality
Abouzar Soltani and Anikó Bakonyi

It is admirable that in the difficult situation you and Armin have found yourselves, you have discovered a source of joy and hope. The stated purpose of the exhibition is to display the dreams of the creators. What is your dream?

For me, freedom is my dream, now and always. And I wish this for everyone. I have found security and freedom here in Hungary, and I want the Hungarians living here to recognise the values of their own country and find as much joy in it as I do.

Anikó Bakonyi

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