22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Burcu Türker

Portrait Burcu Türker
© Schirin Moaiyeri

Burcu Türker was born in 1984 in Erlenbach. She studied from 2004 to 2005 at the Schule für Mode, Grafik und Design in Offenbach before switching to communication design at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. From 2007 to 2015 Türker studied visual communication and illustration at Kunsthochschule Kassel, where she was a master pupil in Hendrik Dorgathen’s illustration and comics class.

In her debut comic »Süße Zitronen« (2016; tr. Sweet lemons) – her final thesis project – she tells the story of a young woman whose mother has succumbed to cancer. The graphic novel is autobiographically based while reconstructing both her relationship to her mother and her mother’s own life: a young actress falls in love, gives up her career in Istanbul and follows her husband to a small town in Germany. Although the protagonist remembers family life as harmonic, her mother ultimately decides to return to Turkey and to the theater. Thoughts of her are impeding the protagonist’s path back into everyday life: »In my book I show how even happy memories of a lost loved one can be crippling. If they become too much, they’re a bit like vinegar in a salad.« Hence, the title: The »lemons« represent a link between daughter and mother while the adjective »sweet« invokes the positive memories, as do the colors in the book. Burcu Türker tells her story with sparing graphics and an economy of pen strokes yet with wild accents of red, green and blue. The orange-red of the protagonist proceeds as a thematic constant throughout the book while the author’s memory of her mother is shown in light yellow. Türker’s debut earned her a spot in the finals for the 2016 Comic Book Award given by the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung. Andreas Platthaus (»FAZ«) praised the book as »an effortless double-double: mother-daughter, then Turkey-Germany. The comic is a dream in red; what this young comic artist has managed to do with this color is something to behold.« In 2017 the Deutscher Comicverein e.V. and Germany’s Federal Agency for Civic Education organized the workshop »Alphabet des Ankommens« (tr. Alphabet of arrival) to promote journalistic reportage and comics on the themes of flight and starting anew in a foreign country. As part of this project, Burcu Türker designed the comic reportage »Auf der Viersener Wartebank« (tr. Waiting in Viersen), based on a text by Elend Sheikhi. The protagonist of the story is Lazkin Mohammad Hesso, who is experiencing first hand the 2016 tightening of Germany’s asylum policy.

In 2012 Burcu Türker cofounded the artist collective »Die Goldene Discofaust« (tr. The golden disco-fist). She lives in Berlin.