Fotograf Magazine

Susanne Bosch

The Voices and Faces of the Others

In 2003 Susanne Bosch spent six months in Istanbul as one of twenty-three artists who participated in a cultural exchange program between Berlin and the Turkish metropolis in the years 1998–2009. For Bosch this experience was a turning point in the sense that it was during the exchange program that the issue of migration became the primary focus of her work. In Istanbul she started to collect the stories of people who had returned to Turkey after a short- or long-term experience of living abroad, most often in Germany. Bosch continued to collect these stories – mainly triggered by an initial desire for a better life – even after returning to Berlin, neighborhoods of which (Kreuzberg in particular) are home to the largest Turkish community outside of Turkey. One of the outcomes of her many years of contact with Turkish and Kurdish communities is her project Strange That You Wonder – But We Do As Well (2009). This book, capturing a selection of several such stories along with audio-recordings of interviews conducted with their protagonists, was presented in summer 2009 at Café Kotti, a coffee house located in the above-cited Kreuzberg district, a neighborhood which has in recent years become a much-visited hub of cultural tourism. The informal character of presentation in a non-gallery setting was partly at odds with the artist‘s photographs, which were displayed in a most utilitarian way – printed on the café’s tablecloths. In this way Bosch used photography as a sign signaling a departure from the framework of the mundane. 

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