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 1971, holds a Master of Arts in American, English and German Literature and Linguistics. 2014-2019 Mirja studied „Photojournalism and Documentary Photography“ at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover, Germany. She also took photography workshops with Darcy Padilla, Rob Hornstra, and Vanessa Winship. Mirja concentrates on personal longterm projects situated in her neighbourhood that deal with social issues and personal storys of universal human interest. She lives with her husband and their three children close to Bremen in northern Germany.