Born in Turkey in 1984, Fatma Bucak identifies as both Kurdish and Turkish. At the age of 20, having completed a degree in Philosophy at Istanbul University, Fatma left Turkey for Italy. Here she studied for a further degree in Printmaking at Albertina Academy of Fine Arts, Turin, before moving to London, UK, where she completed a master’s degree in photography at the Royal College of Art.
Today Fatma is a multi-disciplinary visual artist based between London and Istanbul, working across performance, photography, sound, video and other mediums. Much of Fatma’s work addresses narratives of displacement and violence through the lens of gender and politics; subjects that are continually absorbed in conflict and rebellion. Experiences of isolation and dislocation are at the heart of her practice. Fatma’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto, Pi Artworks, London and Brown University David Winton Bell Gallery, USA, among others.
Fatma’s notable photographic works include A Study of Eight Landscapes, an on-going project produced in the harsh landscapes of the Turkish-Armenian, Syrian and Texas-Mexico borders. Through exploring these liminal lands, Fatma collects and gives new shape and form to familiar objects. In documenting these objects, she transforms them in to living sculptures and languages, highlighting the mental and material realities in locations where the conditions of life are dependent on the entities on either side.
In photography and beyond, Fatma is dedicated to challenging misrepresentations and omissions; to re-examining those experiences which are so often distorted or excluded within the media and historical contexts. In championing the stories of political and ethnic minorities, and of socio-cultural structures in opposition to power, Fatma bravely confronts those power structures herself. In doing so, Fatma produces vital records of stories that may otherwise be forgotten or remain untold.
By Philippa Kelly