Born in 1972 and growing up in the small town of Cham in the Bavarian Forest, Thomas Dworzak very early decided to become a photographer. While in high school, he traveled to Northern Ireland, Israel/Palestine and the disintegrating Yugoslavia.
Immediately after graduating from Robert-Schuman Gymnasium, Cham he left Germany, always combining his travels and attempts to become a photographer with studying languages. Spanish in Avila, Czech in Prague, Russian in Moscow. From 1993-1998, he lived in Tbilisi, Georgia. At this time he began to discover the Caucasus, it’s conflicts (Chechnya, Karabakh, Abkhazia), people and culture which resulted in the publishing of his book, Kavkaz in 2010. The album combines pictures with excerpts of classic 19th century Russian literature.
Affiliated with the Paris photographic agency Wostok Press, he began to cover news, especially the Kosovo crisis in 1999, mostly on assignment for US News and World report. His dramatic pictures of the Fall of Grozny, Chechnya were widely published and received several awards. He also continued his exploration of the North Caucasus. He spent the years following the 9/11 attacks covering the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as their impact on the US. During a several-months assignment in Afghanistan for The New Yorker, he discovered studio portraits of the Taliban. This discovery became his first book, Taliban. Images taken during his many assignments in Iraq, most of which were shot for TIME Magazine, were used to create his next book: M*A*S*H* IRAQ.
Dworzak became a Magnum nominee in 2000 and a full member in 2004. From 2005 to 2008, as a TIME Magazine contract photographer, Dworzak covered many major international news stories including:
Macedonia, Pakistan, Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Lebanon, Haiti, Chad, C.A.R., the London Attacks, Ethiopia, Iran, US presidential campaigns, Hurricane Katrina, and the revolutions in the former Soviet republics of Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine. During breaks from conflict areas and war zones, he regularly photographed Fashion Weeks in major cities.
Dworzak remained in Georgia after the 2008 war with Russia. This would lead to the Magnum Group project Georgian Spring, which was a starting point for a new, several-year long engagement with the New Georgia under President M. Saakashvili. He spent 2009-2010 in Afghanistan, documenting the deployment of ISAF troops and their return home. In 2009 he also visited Iran to photograph Ashura. In 2013, a commission for the Bruges Museum led him to photograph the memory of WWI. This has since become an ongoing project concerning the legacy of the First World War around the world, which he plans to finish in 2018, 100 years after the end of the conflict.
Always an avid collector, Dworzak has in recent years started gathering Instagram screenshots of a variety of subjects and grouping them together into ever-growing collections of #instagram artist scrapbooks. Besides his personal stories, Dworzak continues to cover international stories, such as the DMZ in Korea, Cuba, Colombia, China, Liberia, Arab spring in Egypt, the war in Libya and most recently, the refugee crisis in Europe the November, 2015 Paris terror attacks, and 2016 US Presidential elections. Covering the heightened migration crisis in Europe since 2015 lead him to initiate the Europa guide for refugees.