Tobias Zielony





Over the past 20 years, the relationship between people and the camera has changed radically. While a few decades ago the photographic image was an exception in everyday life, today the clear separation of representation and the world has collapsed. The dilemma of photography has become common. The assertion of truth and objectivity has always concealed a balance of power that is based outside of the picture. Something comes true because whoever claims it has the power to do so. Documentary photography has long benefited from this privilege and again and again helped to confirm this unequal power relation by pointing at the objectivity apparently built into the photographic camera. While fiction has long been left to the artists, the picture has been reversed. Politicians like Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson or Donald Trump have mastered the art of fictionalization of facts – and obvious lies. In this dilemma the question is, what are our alternatives as photographers? How can we work about or within social media and create meaningful and critical imagery?

SCHEDULE: Meets online on the following days and times:
Friday, October 20: 7-10am (Los Angeles), 11am-2pm (New York), 4-7pm (Hamburg)
Saturday, October 21: 7am-2pm (Los Angeles), 11am-5pm (New York), 4-10pm (Hamburg)
Sunday, October 22: 7am-2pm (Los Angeles), 11am-5pm (New York), 4-10pm (Hamburg)
All times include breaks. A list of materials to prepare, upload portfolio page links & Zoom classroom logins will be provided a week before the start of class.

STRUCTURE: Artist lead lecture(s) and directed activities + Group-based critiques

Note: Enrollment limited to 10 participants.

Banner image © Tobias Zielony, Make Up, from the series Maskirovka, 2017.

© Tobias Zielony, from the series The Fall.

© Tobias Zielony, Red Mask, 2019, from the series The Fall.

© Tobias Zielony, Yusuke, 2020, from the series The Fall.

© Tobias Zielony, from the series Maskirovka, (stop-motion film), 2017.


© Halina Kliem

Tobias Zielony (born 1973  in Wuppertal, Germany) is known for his photographic and filmic depictions of youth- and subcultures, which—albeit embedded in specific communities—employ a critical approach to documentary photography. His photographs create a distance between image production and documentary, resulting in a unique aesthetic and a relation to fictional narratives.He is interested in exploring how images impact and inform the shaping of the self, as well as the identity of a community. In 2009, Zielony introduced stop-motion animation and moving images to his practice. In 2015 he co-exhibited at the German Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale with the work The Citizen, a cooperation with refugee activists in Germany and newspapers and magazines in five African cities. He has exhibited extensively and interationally with solo shows, among others, at the MMK Zollamt in Frankfurt (2011); Camera Austria in Graz (2011); Philadelphia Museum of Art (2011); MAXXI Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo Rome (2012); the Berlinische Galerie (2013); Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal (2017); a retrospective at the Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany (2021) and Marta Herford (2022). His works has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including the second Montevideo Biennial (2014), and the first Riga Biennale (2018). He was the first Peter and Irene Ludwig guest professor at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts. From October 2022 he will be professor for photography at the HFBK Hamburg.




PARTIAL (50%) SCHOLARSHIP Applications Deadline:
[Tuesday, January 31, 2023]
$295 USD

EARLY-BIRD Applications Deadline:
[Tuesday, February 28, 2023]
$445 USD

PAST ATTENDEE Applications Deadline:
[Friday, September 1, 2023]
$445 USD

REGULAR Applications Deadline:
[Friday, September 1, 2023]
$595 USD


Applications to register are free (no fee to apply). Enrolment is limited to 10 participants. Photographers from all educational backgrounds and at all career stages are welcome to apply (film & digital). A portfolio of 10-20 images focused on past and/or ongoing projects must be submitted as a prerequisite for consideration (please include images from no more than 2 different series/projects).

Scholarships Note: Whenever possible partial scholarships are first made available to underprivileged and/or underrepresented applicants. Other key evaluation criteria are: 1. artistic quality of the work submitted 2. demonstrated potential for long-term impact and development in the photographic field, and 3. motivation to learn in a group setting. Scholarship applicants are also required to briefly describe how their current situation relates to these criteria in the added scholarship application form field.


Applicants invited to register are required to confirm their participation by sending either a USD 300.00 tuition deposit, or a full Early-Bird/Regular, or Past Attendee tuition payment. 

If opting to send a tuition deposit, the remaining tuition balance will then come due in full by Friday, September 1, 2023.


The deadline for registered participants to withdraw and request a refund is Friday, September 1, 2023. Please note all withdrawals are subject to a USD 200.00 cancelation fee. No refunds can be issued past the deadline. In the event the class is not meeting minimum enrolment to run (7 participants) or needs to be canceled for any other reasons, registered participants will receive a full tuition refund with no cancelation fee applied.


For any questions or inquiries, please contact FotoFilmic Co-Director Bastien Desfriches Doria directly at


  • Enter N/A if not applicable
  • Enter N/A if not applicable
  • 10-20 images max, 1500 pixels width max, 72 dpi. Note: When uploading your work, the red "x" tab indicates that your files were uploaded successfully. Only click on the red "x" tab if you need to remove/edit your files before completing your submission.
    Drop files here or
    Max. file size: 2 MB, Max. files: 20.

      Please review your information and click SUBMIT to send us your application and access our confirmation page. There is no cost to apply but should you be selected, a $300 deposit payment will be required to secure your seat.