Bronze 2019 / Editorial / Photo Essay

Portrait of An Artist As An Old Man

  • Prizes
    Bronze in Editorial/Photo Essay
  • Photographer
    Mirja Maria Thiel

Since 2016 my personal longterm project captures the life of 81-year-old German photographer Fritz Dressler who 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. 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 summerizing the ideas of her riding teacher that was published at Georg Olms Press 2007/10. 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.