Contrast Again

2014. augusztus 07., csütörtök

So far, thousands have visited the Contrast exhibit, organized together by the Reformed Church in Hungary and the police. The multimedia art exhibition is part of the family and youth protection project and can be seen again in Budapest.  

Contrast is open weekdays from 9 am until 5 pm in the basement of the reformed church on Pozsonyi Street. Nationwide more than 1,000 people have visited the exhibition that displays a shocking contrast. Its primary target group is high school students.  

With the support of the Danubian Reformed Church District, the police, the national Emergency Ambulance Service and the Ministry of Human Resources, the exhibition was opened in Kisvárda, Nyíregyháza and Debrecen as well. As our portal has previously reported, Contrast depicts taboos, of which only a few dare to talk. It deals with seven topics: marriage and family life vs. divorce and communities falling apart; role models, the role of a mother and a father vs. domestic violence; freedom and happiness vs. addictions; patriotism and responsibility vs. materialism and global financial power; having children vs. abortion; the meaning of life, mission vs. lack of purposes, depression and suicide; and at last salvation.

After seeing the shocking exhibit, visitors can go into a quiet room where to think about what they have seen, or they can discuss it in small groups lead by professionals.

By summarizing our older articles in the followings we try to give an account on the reception our exhibitions received.

Reopening and healing our wounds

‘Son, don’t drink and smoke!’ Parents and teachers say these sentences completely in vain, because such clichés are useless.

“This exhibition brings up the visitor’s sins, past, failures, pains, honors and victories. It starts an inner struggle, and that is what makes Contrast what it is. The visitor will soon realize that the real exhibition is not what surrounds him but what it creates in him. The rest is just an accessory to catalyze the events. This exhibition is different each time. It is not a coincidence that we use no presentation in the gallery. The visitor walks into a labyrinth and in a few minutes the outside world ceases to exist. It reopens and heals wounds at the same time. The most wonderful part is if somebody comes out not only facing his sins, but meeting the forgiving God as well,” we learn from reformed pastor László Százvai, the initiator of this exhibition.

“This soul-moving exhibit should be seen by millions,” István Szabó, bishop of the Danubian Reformed Church District, told us. It’s all about confrontation; the creators of the exhibition compare lives led with the guidance of God and ones which have drifted away from him. The bishop mentioned that the pastors do this from the pulpit as well, but believers often consider that moralizing.

“We live in a visual culture, where people like seeing reality demonstrated for them. The young people touched or shocked by the exhibition start to look for the possibilities in life. It’s not only about not doing something but preventing it from happening as well. We have to save those who have already gone down the wrong path,” added the bishop.

“The huge contrast between gain and loss, life and death is beyond comprehension,” the spokesman of the national Emergency Ambulance Service said. After the opening of the exhibition in Budapest, Pál Győrfi shared his experiences with us about being a paramedic called in for terrible cases. In his opinion there are hundreds of pointless young deaths, when most of the time they are preventable.

“The Contrast exhibition can affect the soul. We bandage the wounds as paramedics, but we can’t save souls the way this exhibition does,” Győrfi added.

“We would like to bring Contrast closer to as many young people as possible, even to those who are in danger every day, and those who are overprotected by their parents. Those who take drugs, drink and get into bad habits can look at this bad path as an outsider. The ones who keep their distance from this anyway can express an even more characteristic resistance in themselves. They should experience these horrors virtually here, rather than getting involved in them and get on a path which is not only painful but might be fatal as well,” the main organizer of the exhibition in Budapest, Dean Dávid Illés, expressed.

That’s how contrasts work

In the guest book of the exhibition besides the words “shocking” and “meaningful” we often read expressions like “confirmed” and “it helped.” We accompanied pastors from Budapest through the exhibition to see the effect it had on them.

At VOLT festival in Sopron, the visitors were not only interested in the stars and singers, but many of them saw the Contrast exhibit organized by the Reformed Church as well. Over 95,000 people visited the event.

Through our eyes

Supporting the topics of the exhibition our website has also issued a sequence of reports. We hear about the issues of abortion, divorce, drug addiction, domestic violence, suicide, patriotism and mission from people who were affected by them.




Written by Ágnes Jakus; translated by Anita Polgári

Originally published on

Contact us

Click here if you are interested in twinning.


Reformed Church in Hungary

Address: H-1146 Budapest, Abonyi utca 21.   

PO Box: 1140 Budapest 70, Pf. 5

Phone/Fax: + 36 1 460 0708 


Our church through American eyes

We encourage you to read our  former GM intern Kearstin Bailey's blog about her time, spent in Hungary.