What lies behind the Olympic aura at Sochi?
Explore the crossroads between the life of an artist and photojournalist. What does it mean to be tasked with telling an ambitious visual story?
About two years ago, award winning Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak received an assignment from National Geographic asking him to explore the backdrop of the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi. Even before the recent political developments, it was a complex endeavor considering just how multifaceted the story is: The games as Putin's pet project, the forgotten Circassian Genocide, the Islamic terror threat, revival of aggressive Russian nationalism, the occupied Georgian territory of Abkhazia, hundreds of thousands of Georgian IDPs, etc. With the opening ceremonies just weeks away, Thomas is publishing "Beyond Sochi" with writer William Dunbar -- a non-traditional "book" that exists as the consummatory embodiment of this work.
This salon will be both a NY book-launch and an edifying meditation on process, offering a behind-the-scenes look at what it means to be tasked with telling an ambitious visual story at the highest level. More than an insider's peek into the life of a professional photojournalist and the world of old-school editorial photography, the salon will explore the crossroads between art and journalism, that grey area of image making that Magnum photographers often find themselves occupying.
Ticket to the Salon includes:
About the artist
Thomas Dworzak was born in Kötzting, Germany, in 1972 and grew up in the small town of Cham in the Bavarian Forest. Towards the end of his high school studies, he began to travel and photograph in Europe and the Middle East. Living in Avila, Prague and Moscow, he studied Spanish, Czech and Russian. After photographing the war in former Yugoslavia, he lived in Tbilisi, Georgia from 1993 until 1998 where he documented the conflicts in Chechnya, Karabakh and Abkhazia as well as working on a larger-scale project about the Caucasus region and its people, which was published in 2011 as the book "Kavkaz".
Affiliated with the Paris based photo agency "Wostok Press" he covered the Kosovo crisis, mostly for US News and World Report, and returned to Chechnya the same year. After the dramatic fall of Grozny in early 2000 he began a project on the impact of the war in Chechnya on the neighboring North Caucasus. He also photographed events in Israel, the war in Macedonia, and the refugee crisis in Pakistan.
Dworzak became a Magnum nominee in 2000 and a member in 2004.
Since 2000 he has been based again in Moscow and after 9/11, he spent several months in Afghanistan on an assignment for the New Yorker, which led to the book "Taliban".
The decade after 9/11 Dworzak extensively covered the ensuing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and it's impact on US politics. This led to the book M*A*S*H* IRAQ.
He covered these and the main international news stories in Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Lebanon, Haiti, Chad, C.A.R, Ethiopia and the revolutions in the former Soviet republics of Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and stories from the Ukraine and Iran mainly for TIME Magazine and The New Yorker.
The assignments in Iran led to the project "Valiasr Avenue" about Tehran's longest street, which is still in progress.
In 2008-2009 Thomas Dworzak returned to Georgia for the Magnum Group project "Georgian Spring". He started working on a new project on the Caucasus and spent 2011 situated in Afghanistan.
Besides his projects in the Caucasus he continues to cover news stories, such as the "Arab Spring" in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, the Russian elections and the run up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
2013 "Instagram Collection", Tbilisi
2011/12 "August 2012 - 3D", Nitendo, Paris
2012 Frontline - (Group Show), Duesseldorf
2010/12 Kavkaz - Paris, Tbilisi, Thessaloniki, Moscow
2009 Georgian Spring, (Magnum Group Show) Berlin, Madrid, Munich, Paris, New York
2006 Katrina (Group Show), Groenigen, The Netherlands
2004/05 Off Broadway, New York, Arles, Berlin
2000 The Fall of Grozny, Visa pour l’Image, Perpignan
1997/98 Caucasus, Galerie Génériques, France; Maison Robert Doisneau, Gentilly, France
1995 La Vie comme dans un Miroir, Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
2011 Kavkaz, Schilt Publishing, Amsterdam
2007 M*A*S*H Iraq, Trolley, London
2003 Taliban, Trolley, London
2005 Picture of the Year International Award
2001 World Press Photo (Spot News Story, 1st prize), Amsterdam, Netherlands
2001 Prix Bayeux , France
2001 Prix Terre d’Images Scoop d’Angers, France
2000 Prix Kodak, Kodak Young Photographer of the Year