Jan-Joseph Stok spent most of his childhood in France. At the age of 18 he returned to his home country to study photojournalism for three years at the Fotoacademie in Amsterdam. While working as a freelance photographer he was wounded in an attack near Kosovo and decided to return home, with a goal to acquire more knowledge and expertise about the world to better prepare him for the work he ultimately wanted to do.
Stok enrolled in a European Studies course in Maastricht but quickly redirected his focus to photojournalism. In 2004, he was the first international student to follow a semester course in photojournalism at the Danish school of Journalism in Aarhus, Denmark. He additionally completed an internship at Politiken, Denmark’s national newspaper during this time.
Stok has completed freelance assignments for international magazines and newspapers and has traveled regularly to Africa to work for a variety of international NGO’s. His body of work in Africa aims to reveal the details of people’s lives and not simply concentrate on hard news. His aim is to look deeper into the lives of sometimes neglected people and the facets of society that few people seem to care about.
In his photos, Stok shows a contrast between the Western world and the developing world, particularly through the juxtaposition of photographs that capture both sides of a story. Stok claims that photography is about a look: how people regard you and how you regard people is what constitutes the strength of a picture. Respect for and understanding of your subject are also key to his work, whose main goal is to show the human condition everywhere where injustice exists and to see individuals as human beings after all.
In January 2006, Stok was awarded “Best Photojournalist Under 30 of the Year” in the Netherlands at the Zilveren Camera where he won the Canon Prize (see: www.zilverencamera.nl/2005/). During 2006, Stok was based in London for one year, where he continued to work as a freelance photographer while completing a Master in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication.
These days, Stok spends most of his time abroad on assignments in Africa for international NGO’s and magazines, traveling regularly to the Democratic Republic of Congo and to other African nations.
2006 Master of Arts in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication
2004 Exchange semester in Photojournalism at the Danish School of Journalism in Aarhus, Denmark
2002 – 2005 Bachelor in European studies at the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands
1998 – 2001 Photography at the Fotoacademie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
1990 – 1997 Ecole Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel de Lille Metropole in Lille, France
2006 Master of Arts in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography
2006 Awarded the Canon prize for Best photojournalist under 30 years at the Zilveren Camera in the Netherlands
2005 Bachelor of Arts in European Studies
2000 Certificate Basisopleiding Fotographie (foundation course in photography)
1997 Baccalaureate Economique et Social (economics and social sciences)
1997 International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
1996 First Certificate in English from the University of Cambridge (FCE)
French (mother tongue); Dutch (mother tongue); English (fluent); German (good)
Travelled to numerous developing countries for assignments and personal interest, including: South-Sudan,Darfur, Somalia, Afghanistan North-Uganda, Ethiopia,RD Congo,Rwanda, Morocco, Mali, Senegal, Mauritius Island, India, Nepal, Madagascar, Ukraine, Croatia, Mozambique and more