|Nick Nostitz at the FCCT on Friday 09.January 2015|
ZUR DEUTSCHEN VERSION
Laudatory speech by the FCCT:
Nikolaus Freiherr von Nostitz, 46, a minor German aristocrat from Munich with ancestral roots in Selesia, settled in Bangkok in 1993 and plans to leave in2015.
„I arrived somewhat by accident as a backpacker, and then chose to become a professional photographer – making a profession out of my obsessions: photography, traveling, collecting experience,” he once explained.
A member of Hamburg's Focus Photo and Press Agency, Nick Nostitz, as he is usually known, immerses himself in subjects to a degree that makes most other journalists look like magpies. He spent years careening around Bangkok with the Por Teck Tueng Foundation recovering corpses. Nostitz speaks the language, eats the food and ingests the culture. He has lived in quiet rural areas and along humdrum city streets. He makes a point of getting to know ordinary people and learning how they cope in the world. He has seen aspects of Thailand that many would prefer to block out.
Nostitz's Patpong – Bangkok's Twilight Zone (Westzone, London, 2000) is an unflinching take on the dark hedonism of the City of Angels. Similarly, Red vs Yellow Volume 1: Thailand's Crisis of Identity, and Red vs Yellow Volume 2: Thailand's Political Awakening (White Lotus Press, Bangkok, 2009 and 2011) are examples of eyewitness photojournalism at its most obsessive and compelling.
Nostitz also covered the bloody war on drugs in Bangkok. His work has been published by leading European magazines such as Stern and Der Spiegel. It has appeared at more length on New Mandala, the probing website of the Australian National University College of Asia and the Pacific where academics and journalists rub shoulders with the opinionati and trolls. Unusually, Nostitz's reports have been extensively translated into Thai, suggesting that gaps not just in foreign coverage but also local journalism have been filled.
The exhibition at the FCCT is culled from literally of thousands of photographs, and reflects two consciously differing approaches: expressive, manipulable black and white for fly-on-the-wall nighttime images, and unrelenting, sometimes horrifying, colour for political documentary.
If the measure of any photographer's success is provoking thoughtful reactions from viewers, Nostitz does better than most. With nods to Brassai in Paris and WeeGee in New York, there is nothing surreptitious about the way he goes about his business. Many of his subjects have clearly allowed him into their worlds; only the dead are unaware of his optical undertakings.
Not surprisingly, his work provokes discomfort and animosity in some quarters. Nostitz was brazenly attacked at a rally in November 2013, escaped an abduction attempt in May (2014), and has received numerous threats. No longer able to work or to support his family, he is finally calling it a day and returning to Germany. His departure will certainly not be met with indifference by either his admirers or detractors. Both might agree that it finally removes from the scene the keenest foreign observer of Thailand's complex street politics.
Generally it is getting more and more difficult to make a living as a freelance photographer and journalist even when you are not getting threatened or worse - like Nick had to experience in 2013/14.
Nowadays many newspapers, magazines and TV-stations are getting their footage from the internet, twitter, Picasa, Youtube, etc. There they get it for free! Many TV-stations ask their viewers to send them images or videos and as payment they offer them to mention the name of the author. What they often forget to mention: People who offer their footage to the media for free will also loose their copyright and when the media companies are selling the images/videos they will keep all the money and the author won't receive a single cent.
Statement by Nick Nostitz about the event:
Yesterday was a lovely night, and I want to thank all who attended my exhibition and the talk. In particular I also want to thank Khun Kasit Piromya for joining and for his kind words - a very courageous and much appreciated gesture.
Only one thing put me off. I wished that at least some of the people who hate and discredit me on social media, behind my back, or by spreading vile rumours, would have the courage to voice their criticism into my face. This would have been a perfect setting where all of us would have been forced to be civil, and where alone the content of the argument brought forward counts. I am a photographer and writer and have to be transparent, and part of that is facing and dealing with criticism. Honest and fair criticism only makes me a better journalist.
Yet none of those characters attended.
|Nick Nostitz and Kasit Piromya|
New Mandala: http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala
This Blog (25.November 2013): http://www.yanawa.blogspot.com/2013/11/bangkok-protest-update
White Lotus: http://thailine.com/lotus
The following photos of the exhibits are just some selected examples. There are many more to see at the exhibition, which will end on January the 20th 2015.
ALL EXHIBITION-PHOTOS AND MANY MORE ARE FOR SALE AND CAN BE BOUGHT AT THE FCCT FOR 1800 AND 2500 BAHT PER IMAGE (depending on the size).
The Patpong photos:(All photos of the exhibition are published with permission of Nick Nostitz)
|Da and friends - Pretty Lady, Nana Plaza, 11.09.1993|
|Bangkok Mirage, Patpong, undated|
|Mod, Klong Toey 70 Rai, 01.12.2001|
The Por Teck Tueng Foundation photos:
|Star Apartment, Samlong, Samut Prakan, 29.11.2003|
The protest images:
|Private Narongrit Sara was killed in a friendly fire incident after clashes between protesters and a combined military-police force at the National Memorial. Don Muang, 28.04.2010|
Regrettably Nick didn't display any of his images taken during the flood in 2011 at the exhibition. He shot some great pictures during this time!
You can find some of them at New Mandala:
Red vs Yellow Volume 1
copyright: 2009 by Nick Nostitz
Red vs. Yellow Volume 2
copyright: 2011 by Nick Nostitz
Both books are available at:
White Lotus Co., Ltd
G.P.O. Box 1141
At the moment his first book “Patpong - Bangkok's Twilight Zone" is only available at used books stores or as a pirate copy on the internet in several on-line stores. There is a small chance that it will be republished in the future, as Nick still owns the copyright.
The sequel to Patpong - Bangkok's Twilight Zone will be finished soon, as he mentioned at the FCCT on Friday, 09.January 2015.
Red vs Yellow Volume 3 will be finished and published after his return to Germany.