John Vink


B. 1948 - BELGIAN Based in Brussels

John Vink was born in Belgium in 1948. He studied photography at the fine arts school of La Cambre in 1968 and began working as a freelance journalist three years later. He joined Agence Vu' in Paris in 1986 and won the Eugene Smith Award that year for his work ‘Water in the Sahel’, an extensive body of reportage on the management of water in the Sahel. Between 1987 and 1993 John compiled a major work on refugees around the world; the book Réfugiés was published in 1994. He also created and published ‘Themes’, a photography magazine dedicated to documentary photography. John became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1997, but later resigned and left the agency in June 2017.

More

In 1993 he started working on Peuples d’en Haut, published in 2004, which is a series of chronicles of communities with strong cultural identities living in mountainous areas. He was based in Cambodia from 2000 to 2016, a country he had visited since 1989, covering political and social issues through self-assigned stories. The book, Avoir 20 Ans à Phnom Penh, was published in 2000.

In 2013 John created ‘4Rivers eBooks’, dedicated to publishing books with his own work. Five eBooks have been published to this date.

He has been based in Brussels, Belgium, since August 2016.

Less

Selected works

Belgium, The Inner Border

Belgium, The Inner Border

John Vink

The state of Belgium might turn out to be a mistake in history. The territory designed as a buffer state by the allied powers which defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815 covered a linguistic border roughly dating from the Roman Empire. Voices for less mutual dependency from each side of that border are being heard…

More
Cambodia, Royal Railways rehabilitation

Cambodia, Royal Railways rehabilitation

The 602 Km long Cambodian railway system dates back from French colonial times and was built in 1905 to first link Phnom Penh with the Thai railway system in Poipet.…

More
Brussels with COVID-19

Brussels with COVID-19

Views of the Belgian capital throughout the successive waves of the pandemic. From March 2020 to December 2021.

More
Colonial Legacy in Belgium

Colonial Legacy in Belgium

In the streets of Brussels, the colonial past is hidden in plain sight. The many street names and monuments honouring personalities, places and events linked to colonial history are so…

More
'Sans-papiers' movement, Brussels

'Sans-papiers' movement, Brussels

Since February 1st 2021, more than 200 undocumented migrants have been occupying the Saint-Jean-Baptiste-au-Béguinage church in the center of Brussels, as well as another 180 occupying the two main universities…

More