I started out studying fashion design and wound up weaving stories instead. Taking a detour through North American and Music & Media Studies, an internship at Dave Eggers' oral history non-profit Voice of Witness in 2014 convinced me to tell true and impactful stories.
I love stories that explain the bigger picture through the personal narrative and telling those stories using text, audio, photography, or multimedia.
My favorite stories so far include nuns dressed in bright pink who spend their lives behind bars praying for the outside world, six Frisian towns who adopted Syrian families, and an idealistic Dutch project in my hometown that brought Protestant and Catholic teenagers together to (hopefully) solve the Northern-Irish troubles.
I also spent the past few years researching and story editing documentaries, translating articles and working for the Initiative Narrative Journalism Netherlands as a project officer, board member and co-organizer of the annual True Stories conference.
Based in the Netherlands, I currently live in Brooklyn studying Literary Reportage at New York University.
I'm a Dutch freelance journalist and story consultant temporarily based in New York, where I study Literary Reportage at New York University.
I'm not a typical journalist: I didn’t dream of chasing news stories and didn't go to J-school. Yet even while on a path to becoming a fashion designer and an American Studies scholar, I was interested in exploring human stories and how to tell them.
I've experimented with audio, long form, documentary film and multimedia storytelling, to tell stories about about nuns dressed in bright pink robes who spend their days praying for the outside world from solitary confinement, a remapping of Dutch slavery in New York City Dutch small-town idealism meant to solve the Northern-Irish Troubles and the European refugee crisis.
Right now, I'm learning about the art of audio documentary, personal essay, journalistic ethnography and more.
I'm also a board member of the Dutch Narrative Journalism Foundation
Send me a message if you want to connect or know more.
The first time I called myself a journalist was while talking to an ex-paramilitary turned drug dealer in Belfast.
I had worked freelance for three years, published with established publications, researched and written documentaries, I was working on my first feature audio documentary, but calling myself a journalist was hard.
I am not a news junkie, I don't have a Twitter account, I don't get a thrill from exposing evil.
What drives me is the human story.
I have always been curious about how other people see and experience the world, what changes human hearts and minds, what dreams people chase, and how the borders between people shift, harden or dissolve.
While talking to this man in Belfast, I realized that as a journalist, I gained the trust to listen and translate – both literary and figuratively – he trusted me to take his story and carefully compose it into prose that would help a Dutch audience understand him and his world better.
I call myself a journalist now, but I am most of all a listener, a storytelling enthusiast and curious.
This all led me to move to New York in August 2021 to take part in the MFA Literary Reportage program at New York University.