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.

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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.

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Selected works

Cambodia, the Lure and its Curse

Cambodia, the Lure and its Curse

John Vink

Shiny things are like a car coming towards you at night: you can't see anything else but the light. Cambodia is steaming full speed ahead on the path of development. There is peace, and if there is no real political freedom in this recently established autocracy, there certainly is freedom for entrepreneurship in an unbridled…

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Brussels with COVID-19

Brussels with COVID-19

Views of the Belgian capital at the beginning, in the midst and at the end of the confinement.

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Precarious Architecture

Precarious Architecture

The Sonian Forest in the vicinity of Brussels is an incredible playground for children and a feeding ground for their imaginary world. Wolves are befriended, dragons are slain, princes or…

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'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…

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Civil Society Resistances in Belgium

Civil Society Resistances in Belgium

The elections of D. Trump, the Brexit, the I.S. threat, the war in Ukraine, the emergence of totalitarianism in S.E.Asia, are just a few of scary symptoms of a rising…

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