Selma van der Bijl (1979) studied International Business and worked in the FMCG industry for 10 years. In 2012 she switched careers and started studying at the Fotoacademie in Amsterdam and graduated in December 2017. In her work she focuses on milestones such as reunifications, births and weddings. Life wrapped up in love, hope and happiness.
Her ongoing project Lucky, about refugee family reunification, has been awarded the Alfred Fried Peace Medal and the Zilveren Camera Paul Peters Photo prize. The families are from conflict-torn places like Syria, Eritrea, Iraq and Yemen. The series is a tribute to the courageous people who risked their lives on perilous journeys, endless trips by boat, road, bus, train and on foot, crossing borders and the Mediterranean Sea. By focusing on our shared humanity the photographer aims to create awareness and empathy on this ever-urgent topic. Refugees are real men, women and children, not numbers and statistics or a problem that needs to disappear.