Island Life: Photographs from the Martin Parr Foundation

Marketa Luscakova

Born, Prague 1944

‘In the Czech language, the verb to photograph means to immortalise.’

Luscakova became interested in Christian rites in Slovakia while a sociology student in Prague and her earliest photographs recorded ancient traditions in the Slovak village of Sumiac. She also photographed the Czech Za Branou theatre  until it was banned.

On marrying the dual nationality Franz Wurm, who left Prague in 1972, Luscakova travelled to Britain. She settled here in 1975, but the Czech Republic was always home, despite her work having been banned there. Her eye is empathetic but unflinching, especially the series Chiswick Women’s Aid 1976-77 made in a women’s refuge in London and her images of disabled children in care in Romania in 2004-05. 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, which includes an introduction by John Berger.