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Exploring Humanity From a Bench in Barcelona

Have you ever stopped and thought to yourself, "if only this bench could talk?" Specific objects and street furniture in the city landscape can sometimes take on an importance beyond their unimposing appearance. For Hungarian freelance photographer Gabor Erdelyi, this moment came when he started living near an unusual square-shaped bench in Barcelona's old fishing village Barceloneta. For more than a year, pointing the camera out his window, he documented the dramas that occurred on and around it.

"Barcelona is a wonderful city," he wrote on Bored Panda. "The camera is always ready by the window. Sitting on the balcony is like being in a movie theater continuously. I made more than a hundred different photographs of the special life of the bench."

So far, he has documented the bench as a picnic spot, a lovers' retreat, a skateboard surface, a place for parents to patiently watch their children, and a gathering for demonstrations (a gaggle of bicyclists seeming to be part of one of those) and the police presence that follows.

"This is a small point of the fisherman's village lively, vibrant life," says Erdely. "[It's] an integral part of everyday life, of love, of life, of birthdays, of loneliness, of joint activities and of games," he told Huh Magazine. "This is one of the many thousands of similar sites of community building."

He has also added that the project is ongoing. "A few important, characteristic scene is missing in order to complete this series," he wrote on Bored Panda. What could that be—perhaps an interaction between the photographer and his multitude of subjects? Or even a bird's-eye view of Erdelyi himself as he would normally sit in such a place?

“For me the city, the street and the people are the main subject," said Gábor in an interview with DIY Photography. “I see pictures and little stories everywhere. I could not describe these moments in words. I hope I can do it with my photos." With one of his other projects a series of portraits of contemporary artists, it seems time for him to turn the camera on himself.

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