During my study time in the vibrant Dutch city of Groningen, I often wandered through the streets to take portraits of anyone I would meet along my way.

I collected these photos on a Facebookpage called Humans of Groningen, after Brandon Stanton's famous Humans of New York.

Here is a selection of those portraits.

"Being there for others is often quite unsexy. Think of actions such as calling your dad spontaneously, asking him how he is doing, or offering your roommate to go the supermarket because he or she feels ill. They require us to step over our ego, to adapt a vulnerable position. This is something which almost feels uneasy in a time wherein we seem so fixated on the “I”, in a time wherein we construct Facebook profiles that make us feel cool, or walk into a party with an indifferent facial expression, flying high on the idea of the invulnerable self. The vulnerable, repetitive, minimal, unsexy, ways we are there for others, is, however, what makes us truly human beings."

"He was selling newspapers outside of the perfumery where I work. My colleagues told me to 'check out that hot guy'. I observed him from out of the shop, but didn't dare to say hi to him. My colleagues, however, talked to him and asked for his name. They gave it to me, and when I came home that night I immediately wrote him a message on Facebook."

"What did it say?"

"It was a long story in which I apologized for writing him a message. But we're together now for almost two years."

They see me rollin'..

"People are often scared to feel lonely, but if you are constantly surrounded by friends you don't have time to think about how you actually feel. That's exhausting, so I came here to have a break and think about how I feel."

"It's hard to say what freedom means or is, if you've always had it."


The Battle of Groningen took place during the final month of the Second World War. The 2nd Canadian Infantry Division fought against a mixture of German soldiers, Dutch and Belgian SS troops. This man was one of the Canadian soldiers that liberated Groningen. Seventy years later, he returned to commemorate those that fell.

"I'm as good as any other person and I'm as bad as anyone else."

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