Zsuzsa Bakonyi, Commercial Photographer, Tour Guide & Fire Dancer

  • 7 Sep 2022 2:43 PM
Zsuzsa Bakonyi, Commercial Photographer, Tour Guide & Fire Dancer
Zsuzsa was born & grew up mostly in Budapest, now partly living in Mallorca.

Studied economics but became a photographer, tour guide & fire dancer. She is teaching photography on private classes & workshops and also was the first to start photo tours in Budapest.

She speaks 6 languages and enjoys multicultural environments.

Follow these links to learn more about her work: http://pogacia-photo.com/ and https://www.susana-show.com/


1. Where did you grow up?

I grew up on the Buda side, on the hills, almost in a village vibe. However, I went to school on the Pest side from the age of 11, so I have been always connected to both Buda and Pest.

2. If you could be an expat anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

Well, life chose for me already, I partly live on the island of Mallorca now. In Hungarian we have a word which means you live in two places" "ketlaki". I am juggling with my hometown and this mediterranean island for now. 

If I could choose just like that, I would probably choose somewhere in Italy or Portugal, these are both countries and cultures I really connect to.

3. What do you miss most when you are far away from Hungary for a while?

Spending a lot of time on Mallorca, and especially during the last 3 years when travelling was made super difficult, I really realized what I miss most about Hungary. I missed most the green trees, the green fields, the variety of plants, the continental woods, the whistling of the wind in the trees, the lakes & rivers. Every time i went back to Hungary from Mallorca, for a few days I was looking at trees in Budapest and Hungary as if I had never seen so big trees before and my eyes were soaking in the 500 shades of green.

I also miss the Hungarian dolce vita with nice food, concerts, parties, thermal spas - there is a certain way to enjoy life in Hungary which is not necessarily found elsewhere.

I also miss my tribes & underground culture.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?

See the panorama by night. Go to some nice ruin bars, garden bars & some nightlife. Enjoy the Danube. Go to a thermal bath, it is absolutely the best thing in life.

5. What is your favourite food?

I really love to cook myself a pasta al tonno (tuna pasta), with fresh basil leaves. It is my comfort food. I also love every kind of soup.

6. What is your favourite sport / form of exercise?

I am also a fire dancer & juggler so all kind of dances & flow arts I love. Yoga is also keeping me in balance. In Budapest, I go by bike to most places I can.

7. What is your favourite place in Hungary?

Apart from Budapest (my home), I am in love with the Dunakanyar, the Danube bend. It has absolutely something magical about it.

8. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?

I am lucky to be working all the things i love: photography, teaching, tourguiding, community building, fire dance & performances. I would love to be a movie director and a choreographer, but maybe that is for my next life, ha!

10. Where did you spend your last vacation?

At home in Hungary, at the Ozora festival. When I am in Mallorca, It is also a bit like vacation (even though i work often a lot there).

11. Where do you hope to spend your next one?

Good question. Since it was pandemic and I lived between Mallorca & Budapest i did not really have the energies to think about other destinations. I would love to visit Bali and Hawaii though.

12. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?

I absolutely loved Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. I read all their lyrics and looked up every word in my father's huge dictionaries, and I was creating drawings inspired by Kurt Cobain's art. I still consider those few drawings my first art pieces.

13. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?

Anything which sounds like fun :-)

14. Red wine or white?


15. Book or movie?

Difficult one. I used to read so much as a teenager but now i never read novels... So if i want to be in another story, i watch movies now.

16. Morning person or night person?

I am kinda both and none. I like to get up at a decent time (7-8 am) but also like to enjoy evenings, and get more creative then. However, I am usually not awake past 1-2 am. 

17. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?

The issue of homeless, as I feel it should be a right to be able to have a roof above your head. It is a very strong & sad issue in Hungary and most people think it is their own fault but it is a systematic problem if you start researching it and it can literally happen to anyone in Hungary. I also have a long term photoproject which a (by now not) homeless couple and i will publish a photobook on them.

18. Buda or Pest side?

I love both. Grew up on Buda hills, spent my adult life on the Pest side. But my heart will always be on Buda.

19. Which achievement in your life are you most pleased about?

That I became a professional fire dancer at the age of 34. I dared to venture into something new.

20. What would you say is your personal motto? 

"Always be yourself. Unless you can be a Unicorn. Then, always be a unicorn"

Photo: Kata Jancsó

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