Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays

Turkina Faso on the ability to use photography as a “friendship tool”

Joining us on the first rainy evening of Nicer Tuesdays in September was Turkina Faso. A London-based, Russian-born photographer, Turkina’s work spans from editorials and commercials to regularly photographing her younger sister, Alice.

It was the latter that Turkina’s talk focused upon, first winding back to her fascinating journey into photography. Taking the audience back to 2004, Turkina explained that at first she was a medical student before leaving to focus on journalism in Moscow, while she “tried to find [her]self”. During this time Turkina was regularly picking up a camera, trying out photography through “experiments, and a lot of mistakes probably.”

Photographing what was close to her, Turkina began snapping her sister Alice with whom she has a large age gap of 13 years. “She’s my best friend now,” explained Turkina, “but at that point [of their first collaboration] I was older and she was just eight.” Photography, in turn, “became a friendship tool” for the pair, creating Turkina’s very own “common journey through space and time” with her younger sister.

Now a decade since their first shoot together and celebrated through books and exhibitions, Turkina has coined the term “magical realism” to describe the collaboration. Using simple objects in their photographs – such as objects from her grandmother’s basement or second hand clothing – the term developed from the profound effect of photographing such items in a new setting, combined with photography’s ability to shape-shift memory. “The simple things became something else,” added Turkina, “because of us.”



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