PODCAST: A Photographic Life, Episode 181: Plus Photographer Marketa Luskačová

In episode 181 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on the photographic long game, supporting established photographers and the importance of having a website.

Plus this week photographer Marketa Luskačová on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which she answer’s the question ‘What Does Photography Mean to You?’

Marketa Luskačová was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia and graduated from Charles University, Prague with a Degree in Sociology with a thesis on religion in Slovakia. During her stay in Slovakia, she became familiar with old Christian rites and decided to return with a camera to document the surviving traditions. Luskačová then studied photography at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and from 1970 to 1972, she photographed stage performances of the Za branou theatre, however, the theatre was banned by the communists in the spring of 1972. The same year, she showed her body of work titled Pilgrims in the Gallery of Visual Arts in Roudnice nad Labem. In 1971, she had married the poet Franz H. Wurm but terrified by the ‘Normalization’ programme in Czechoslovakia at the time, Wurm left the country and Luskačová asked the state authorities for permission to visit her husband abroad. After several short visits she emigrated to England in 1975. Her work was banned in Czechoslovakia, and she started photographing London’s markets in 1974 and as a Magnum nominee, the Chiswick Women’s Aid Group. She first visited the North East of England in 1976 when visiting Chris Killip, who lived there and whom she had a son with. She fell in love with Whitley Bay, and with the people there, so when the Newcastle based Amber collective invited her in 1978 to photograph the North East of England alongside Martine Franck, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Paul Caponigro, she was drawn back to photograph the seaside. In 2016 she self-published a collection of photographs of street musicians, mostly taken in the markets of east London, under the title To Remember: London Street Musicians 1975–1990, with an introduction by John Berger. Cafe Royal Books have published two of her bodies of work Chiswick Women’s Aid 1976–77 and Ireland 1972–73. Her work created for the Amber collective By the Sea: Photographs from the North East, 1976–1980 was published in 2019. In the same year a major exhibition of her work was shown at Tate Britain. www.marketaluskacova.com

Grant Scott is the founder/curator of United Nations of Photography, a Senior Lecturer and Subject Co-ordinator: Photography at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, a working photographer, documentary filmmaker, BBC Radio contributor and the author of Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained (Routledge 2014), The Essential Student Guide to Professional Photography (Routledge 2015), New Ways of Seeing: The Democratic Language of Photography (Routledge 2019).

Grant’s book What Does Photography Mean to You? including 89 photographers who have contributed to the A Photographic Life podcast is on sale now £9.99 https://bluecoatpress.co.uk/product/what-does-photography-mean-to-you/

© Grant Scott 2021

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