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Markéta Luskačová At Leila’s Shop

February 9, 2017
by the gentle author

Photographer Markéta Luskačová has been taking pictures in the East End since 1975 and will be in conversation about her work with Curator Andrew Dempsey at Leila’s Shop, Arnold Circus, E2 7JP, next Monday 13th February, 6:30pm. Markéta will also be signing her new book TO REMEMBER – London Street Musicians 1975-1990 which has an introduction by John Berger and copies are available for sale at Leila’s Shop. Email to book your ticket.

Brick Lane, 1978

Bishopsgate, 1980

Commercial St outside Christ Church, 1979

‘The first street musician I ever met was at the horse fair in the West of Ireland on a cold autumn day in 1973 – an old man playing a violin between the horses. It was like an epiphany. A few years later I started to live in London close to Portobello Rd Market. Street musicians played there frequently and the feeling of being in the presence of something precious stayed with me. The street musicians themselves were often quite lonely men, yet their music lessened the loneliness of the street, the people in it and my own loneliness.’ Markéta Luskačová

Commercial St outside Christ Church, 1987

Cheshire St, 1990

Cheshire St, 1982

Yard off Cheshire St, 1986

‘It takes me back eighty years to my childhood (in the thirties), when I was disturbed and spellbound by the street musicians I passed and stopped to listen to and watch. The word play had a double-sense for me. They played instruments or they sang in the street in the hope of getting money, survival money, from the passersby. And I played games in order to escape and feel that I was elsewhere.’ John Berger

Cheshire St, 1979

Cheshire St, 1976

Cheshire St, 1979

Cheshire St, 1979

Cheshire St, 1979

Photographs copyright © Markéta Luskačová

You may also like to take a look at

Markéta Luskačová’s Brick Lane

9 Responses leave one →
  1. JahYouth permalink
    February 9, 2017

    I lived and worked in these very streets, at the very poorest levels — it was a very harsh time. How did everyone survive? It nearly crushed me, and eventually left me homeless as new money and new property investors moved in to these already devastated and smashed areas.

    Was one of the ideas of ‘globalisation’ in these areas to wash all the poorest people out?

  2. February 9, 2017

    Who says photography isn’t an art form?! She reaches her subjects very soul within these beautiful compositions. Clive Murphy

  3. February 9, 2017

    I guess, in some ways, the evening will also be a kind of tribute to John Berger as these street musicians represent his early ‘seeing’: mesmerising but perhaps also disturbing, revealing the poverty of an itinerant lifestyle. Haunting yet deeply human.

  4. February 9, 2017

    Beautiful photographs – you hear them as well as see them.

  5. February 9, 2017

    Marketa’s photographs leave me speechless. They go straight to the soul.

  6. mandy francis permalink
    February 9, 2017

    Beautiful photographs

  7. February 9, 2017

    Truly great photographs that deserve to be exhibited at a major institution .

  8. Jonathan Rickard permalink
    February 9, 2017

    I was in a long queue of tourists waiting to enter the Tower of London in September, 1972. We were being entertained by a trio of old-time buskers—my first street musicians, Great fun!

  9. February 10, 2017

    Extraordinary images.

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