Honorable Mention TOKYO-2018 Editorial / Photo Essay

Portrait of An Artist As An Old Man

  • Photographer
    Mirja Maria Thiel

81-year-old German photographer and former professor for design Fritz Dressler copes with Alzheimer’s disease over the last few years. Once a leading figure in his home village Worpswede, an artists’ community in Northern Germany, Fritz has lost his place in society. But he fights for his self-determination with undiminished hunger for life, refusing to leave his house. Unable to call his state of mind by its name anymore, he is yet well aware of his outstanding life and career as a photographer, a knowledge that preserves his identity and presence thus far: „I’m not dead, I’m walking!“

Mirja Maria Thiel, born in Hamburg, Germany in 1971, holds a master in American/English Literature. She worked for literary publishing houses’ editorial departments and the WWF in Frankfurt a. M., Germany. In the years defined by motherhood she wrote a non fiction book about dressage and bitless riding education that was published at Georg Olms Press 2007/10. Since 2014 Mirja studies "Photojournalism and Documentary Photography" at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover, Germany. She uses digital photography and writing as artistic expressions.