Sander Troelstra is one of the 31 winners and finalists of the LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2015! LensCulture is proud to present the work of these photographers who show us why street photography today remains as fresh and vibrant as ever!

I am always looking to answer the questions I ask about the people I capture at a certain moment. Because: who are these people? They are born somewhere in this world, but why are they there? Do they have control over their life? Are they free? And what is the exact definition of freedom? What is worth fighting for? Loving, believing, trusting people?

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When society goes to sleep, they stay awake. At night, the empty streets are their domain and they roll as they like. At night, they feel that they really exist, that they are somebody, that they matter.

But with this life come the tough values and harsh rules of the streets. In order to stay safe, to stay alive, they have to join a gang and stay in groups at all times. Brutal violence, rape, knifings, drug abuse, AIDS and tuberculosis are their everyday reality. They are the children of the night.

—Sander Troelstra