German Peace Prize for Photography | Winner

Johanna Maria Fritz

Berlin / DE

Like a bird


Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine, Dagestan, Indonesia and Rajasthan in India – regions that are in their difficult political situation. But their inhabitants have developed a circus culture.

Johanna Maria Fritz talks about political clowns in Gaza, whose performance reflects the absurdity of life on the front line between the poor and the Isreal army, and about circus schools that give Afghan children an alternative route. It shows the old traditions of tightrope walking in the North Caucasus and a circus in Iran, which spreads friends and fun despite Islamic dictatorship. The Serpent Swords of Rajasthan performed the art of their grandfathers theater or theater from Indonesia.

The title »Like a Bird« takes the testimony of a little boy about his circus life and stands for the essence of the work.


Johanna Maria Fritz (1994) officially lives in Berlin - but in reality she travels all year round. She studied photography at the Ostkreuzschule and has been a member of the agency of the same name since the beginning of 2019. Her works have been published in Spiegel, Der Zeit, National Geographic and Newsweek China. She was awarded the Inge-Morath Prize, the Lotto Brandenburg Prize and the VG-Bild Scholarship.

She has exhibited all over the world: from Australia to France, Germany and Switzerland as well as in China and the USA.