Meet Gábor, world traveler and collector of humanity’s unique array of photogenic people. He believes in one Human Race and his traveling documentary tells of his incredible journey through beautiful and skilled photography. Much like the ‘Humans of’ pages, PEOPLEIMEET introduces his fans to people from the world over via posts to social media. Shared from all of Gábor’s own personal travels, he posts to sites like Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram. One key difference, Gábor goes to the masses. His travels have taken him from Eastern Europe, the Americas, North Africa and to Asia since 2009. Gábor was kind enough to spend some time highlighting his journeys for The Daily Ledge.
I’ll start at the beginning! What inspired you to travel and interview people?
Once I asked myself a question; What would I do if I had it all? The answer was: “traveling”, so I skipped everything else in life and just started to travel. Peopleimeet is a memoir of moments with people I meet along the way. It includes a huge variety of individuals, from the ones I traveled with for several months, to the ones I got to know only for few minutes. I think we all receive a daily dose of global gossip through the media subconsciously building up a simple general view about things or people coming from different parts of the world. The moment you leave your country you realize that the things aren’t necessarily how you depicted them. I want to share the human world I see through stories directly from the streets. I know I am not the first and only one doing this and that my grammar and photography are not the best, but for me meeting people is essential and with this project backing me up, I grow and learn myself, so why not share it? … maybe bring us all more together.
How many people a day do you meet?
It’s definitely not a daily routine but I kept photographing people since 2009 and I have accumulated several terabits of pictures and listened to a vast amount of stories in different parts of the world.
What has been the most memorable encounter so far?
It’s really hard to point out the most interesting ones, because all the encounters are interesting in a special way, but why not mention some of them;
Once accompanied by a friend we were surrounded and escorted to a highest court up front to the village elders by some tribesmen in northern Panama. They thought we are drug traffickers also because we happened to camp on one of their islands without them noticing us for several days. The whole trial was performed by singing in a really high pitched voice in several indigenous languages. We had no idea what is going on until they brought in a guy who spoke Spanish and we could explain them that we are only tourists passing by. Sadly I couldn’t photograph this event, later of course we became all good friends and they let us stay in their huts.
The stories of the people of La Chureca dumpster who are basically surviving form one day to another by scavenging. While meeting them one of them even attacked me with a neon tube in order to take my camera but luckily my friends helped me out and after a small fight we manage to resolve it. People of central Flores in Indonesia, who had to ask permission from their Gods in order to host us in their home, by sacrificing a poor chicken to mark the walls of the room where we slept with fresh blood. The crazy story ofa Polish guy, who was kidnapped for several days in Pakistan and how he somehow convinced them that they wouldn’t get any money out of him or his family, so they let him go. Stories of Central American migrant workers, traveling on cargo trains, towards north. The energetic kids living in the slums of Tondo in Manila. The Bajau laut (sea gypsies) between Borneo and the Philippines. The hospitable villagers of China … and the amazing people whom I met through Couchsurfing and especially the guys with whom I traveled with … just to mention a few.
I always thought my favorites would be probably the encounters with people from the most remote areas where it’s less globalized, however I’m already late. To visit some of the real tribes you would need special equipment and funds and I believe it’s very important that we discourage people from doing it, because tourism industry already converted many amazing and proud tribes into …simple beggars in many countries.