Tobias Nicolai

Featured in Dansk Dokumentarisme podcast

Dansk Dokumentarisme is a quarterly newsletter about documentary photography in Denmark. Besides the newsletter the three people behind - Emil Ryge, Sigrid Nygaard & Anders Rye Skjoldjensen - also arrange talks and records podcast on various subjects related to documentary photography.

Their eighth installment is about ‘The Ritual’ and it can be heard (only in danish) in various podcast apps (Apple Podcasts, Google PodcastsSpotify) and online here

First prize in Danish Picture of the Year 2019

Friday the 6th of March ‘The Ritual’ was awarded gold in the open class category in Danish Picture of the Year 2019 at the award ceremony held at the Royal Danish Library.

“The winning series by Tobias Nicolai is technically well-executed, and the viewer is in the middle of the ‘war’. It is energetic and completely trashed, and the jury agrees that it fits especially well in the open class category, because it becomes grotesque when it is portrayed in a war aesthetic. There is something weirdly absurd about the situation, that the photographer completes in the style. The scenes play out in a closed off room out of time and place, which is a great strength that supports the visual language. The situation is not exposed. This is awesome, and we are not looking at it with critical eyes, but we have to ask the question: What kind of weird species are humans? So this rite of passage is in line with other extreme rituals around the world.”

The still division jury consisted of Mie Brinkmann, photo editor Weekendavisen; Christian Vium, anthropologist, photographer and filmmaker; Michael Koch, freelance photographer; Kristine Kiilerich, photographer and Mette Frandsen, photographer.

The winners, honourable mentions and runner-ups will be exhibited at the Royal Danish Library, and after that travel around to different venues in Denmark.

Chico Hot Springs Portfolio Review 2020 attendee

The annual Chico Review is hosted by Charcoal Book Club in Pray, Montana in the beginning of april. 58 artists are invited to spend the week with the most respected and influential artists, bookmakers, gallerists, and curators in contemporary photography. Among the 58 selected, six applicants have received merit scholarships based on their submitted projects: Ana Hop, Jacqueline Leigh Silberbush, Madeline Cass, Morganna Magee, Pam Heemskerk and Tobias Nicolai.

Keynote speakers are Alessandra Sanguinetti, Jim Goldberg, Vanessa Winship, Todd Hido, Awoiska van der Molen, Raymond Meeks. The review team consists of a broad representation of the international photo industry; Stanley / Barker, Red Hook Editions, Trespasser Books, Light Work, Pier 24 Photography amongst others.

On assignment for Information

Not a place for a human to exist

“This is the story about a community of young people where everything went wrong and the sense of right and wrong slowly was replaced by indifference and misunderstood self-policing”

The horrible story about a young girl who was held captive, abused and raped for one and a half years evoke parallels to Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’. But here the story takes place in single-family-houses in sleepy rural towns and illustrates what can happen when the surroundings does not see what happens right in front of them.

Cover story spanning six pages with words by Sally Frydenlund in Informations weekend supplement Moderne Tider.

Also published online

Interview in Danish trade magazine Journalisten

“Ive been running around in cinnamon dust clouds wearing white coveralls looking like a crime scene technician ”

The Ritual is featured in Danish trade magazine Journalisten. The interview done by Kerstin Bruun-Hansen focuses on process and working with the subject. ‘The Ritual’ is a documentary project about the peculiar Danish tradition of pouring cinnamon on unmarried young people turning 25.

The Ritual published in Information

First chapter of the book project ‘The Ritual’ Published over six pages and cover in Informations weekend supplement Moderne Tider.

‘The Ritual’ is a documentary project about the peculiar Danish tradition of pouring cinnamon on unmarried young people turning 25. Little is known about this unique and local cultural tradition of ‘kidnapping’ friends and pouring various amounts of cinnamon over them but it is a tradition that is upheld everyday in most of Jutland.

Also published online here

Nominated in Danish PoY 2019

The nominated photographers for Danish Picture of The Year has been announced

List of all nominees can be seen here.

Winners and honorable mentions will be revealed at the award show on the 6th of March 2020 in the Black Diamond at the Royal Library. 

‘Next To You’ workshop projects published

The result of the photographic masterclass ‘Next to you’, that took place in both Russia and Iceland in the spring of 2019, has been published in newspaper format. Seven stories from Russia and seven stories from Iceland, covering a broad spectrum of themes in very different genres.

‘Massovka’ is a story about the Russian film and tv industry turned upside down. Here the focus is on the mass of extras and small role actors that plays a critical role in filmmaking. The portrait series was inspired by a local taxi driver that was scouted by a local caster, and now has minor roles in locally filmed film and tv shows. The story was also a way of connecting with the normal russian citizen, and thus look more closely at our Russian neighbours.

The masterclass was arranged by Nordic Journalist Centre and was mentored by award winning photographers Jana Romanova and Mads Greve

Layout and design by Spine Studio

Contact for a PDF version of the newspaper.

On assignment for DIE ZEIT

Commissioned to illustrate the big piece in DIE ZEIT Dossier called ‘How a police officer overcame an islamist with a cup of coffee’ by journalist and author Bastian Berbner. In Aarhus, Denmark they have a succesfull anti-radicalization programme and the story follows Jamal a young, angry and troubled young guy heading the wrong direction, his mentor and the police officer behind the programmme. Available in print in DIE ZEIT Nr. 34/2019 from the 15th of August 2019 and online behind paywall here.

Wolf Land awarded first prize at Kravling Award 2019

Saturday the 11th of may ‘Wolf Land’ was awarded the first prize in the tv- and photo category at this years Kravling Awards. It was an unanimous decision from the jury consisting of Thomas Borberg, Jonas Fogh, Angelina Owino, Sisse Strøyer and Harley Hersom.

The speech given by Sisse Strøyer on stage: 

“This story is like a mood board for a dramatic feature film. A kind of thriller far away from safety and reality. Slowly but steadily we are lead into unknown territory and things start to happen, the drama unfolds and leaves the viewer almost breathless. Hard facts melts into a cinematic world, that is undoubtedly about life and death.The winner is capable of storytelling in both text and images. We are fascinated by the many facets and human fates. We understand no matter where we are placed in the story. We see a new side of daily life in Denmark which makes us want to be there ourselves. To experience the place. The photographer enlightens without taking sides, and is able to give a news story a very long life which is unique. It is a unanimous jury that can reveal, that the winner is ‘Wolf Land’ by Tobias Nicolai.”

‘Wolf Land’ was chosen amongst some beautiful and strong projects. 

Using Format