Over the past several months, as the European refugee crisis has deepened and spread, it has established itself consistently on the front pages of newspapers and media websites around the world.

But for all the attention, what is really happening on the ground? For all the tense bureaucratic meetings and grand political pronouncements in Brussels, what is it like on the infamous Turkish beaches, on the far-flung Greek islands, in front of hot-points like the recently re-opened Budapest train station.

These photos were taken on the streets of the Hungarian capital. While the larger journalistic narratives focus on Germany vs. the rest of Europe or the moral obligations of Europe to the rest of the world, these images remind us that a “refugee crisis” is, at its heart, an accumulation of individual stories.

So, ignore the headlines and come see one perspective on what’s “really” happening. In the photographer’s own words, “For a few days, Budapest was at its boiling point—the whole world was watching how the Hungarians would react.” While the news outlets told one story, Mark Mervai offers another.

—LensCulture