Joel van Houdt (b. 1981, the Netherlands) is an independent photojournalist based in Moscow.

He studied Photography and Design in Bradford, UK, and graduated from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in 2003, with a final project on the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

In 2002 he started working as a freelance photojournalist in The Netherlands, and on long-term projects across the former Soviet Union. His work from 2003 won the Dutch Canonprijs for photographers under 30.

In 2007 he began working on ‘Entering Europe’ documenting the life of an educated Moroccan refugee before, during and after migrating to Spain. The photographs and multimedia were exhibited in 2009 at Gemak in the Netherlands, galleries in Belgium and published in Stern, Trouw, De Standaard, VSD and El Semanal, among others. The reportage won best picture at Germany's Lead Academy in 2011.

A six-month project in Afghanistan in 2010 turned into a five-year stay. He continues to return as often as possible to cover the ongoing conflict. In 2017, he exhibited “Kuja Meri?”, his project focusing on Afghan refugees, on blast walls in the center of Kabul.

In 2015 he moved to Ukraine and a year later to Russia where he is currently accredited as a photojournalist.

His long-term interests include Afghanistan, migration and the countries of the former USSR.

Van Houdt's work has appeared in various global publications including Al Jazeera America, COLORS, FT Weekend Magazine, GEO China, GQ, The Guardian, The Guardian Weekend Magazine, NRC Handelsblad, Der Spiegel, Stern, The Sunday Age, TIME, Trouw, De Volkskrant, Vrij Nederland, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, The Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.


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