Gold 2017 / Fine Art / Portrait (Non-Pro)

This Is My Body

  • Photographer
    David Johnedis
  • Prizes
    Gold in Fine Art/Portrait

"This Is My Body" is a series of portraits of young, professional Muay Thai boxers in Bangkok. I made the images at a training camp in the city’s most notorious slum. Most of the boys I photographed have been orphaned or neglected and discarded. Their sole means of survival depends upon their success in the ring. The boys are subjected to grueling workouts in oppressive heat; their bodies endure brutal punishment; and they are trained to be ferocious and merciless. By the time they are in their early twenties, many of them will have compromised their physical and mental well being as a result of years of excessive training and countless savage bouts. All proceeds from their winning purses are used to maintain their squalid training camp and provide for meager sustenance. Paradoxically, these boys are at once admired and unwanted; savage and forlorn; innocent and jaded; cultivated and commodified. I was inspired to create this series to illuminate these contradictions. My aim is to deliver the viewer to the intersection of adolescence, commerce, beauty, and brutality.