Teun Voeten Books

teun voeten books

How the Body?

By Teun Voeten | 2000, 2002

One Man's Terrifying Journey Through an African War

Most in the calamities that have captured the headlines in recent months is the civil war that has raged in the tiny Western African nation of Sierra Leone for nearly a decade. In 1998, acclaimed photojournalist Teun Voeten headed to Sierra Leone for what he thought would be a standard assignment on the child soldiers there -- many of whom are only seven years old. No sooner had Voeten arrived, the cease-fire ended, and the battle between peacekeeping forces and the military junta erupted in full force. Taking refuge in the bush from rebels intent on killing him, Voeten was convinced his life was about to end.

How de Body? is Voeten's amazing story of survival and escape in a nation engulfed by civil war and features his award-winning, and heartbreaking, black-and-white photographs -- many of which have appeared in Vanity Fair -- from his multiple trips to this conflicted area.


[NL] How the Body?
Originally published 2000 by Meulenhoff Publishers, Amsterdam, Dutch language
ISBN: 90 290 6514 1

[EN] How the Body?
English translation published 2002 at St. Martin's Press, New York
Pages: 288, includes one map and one 16-page b&w photo insert
ISBN: 0 312 28219 2
Price: $24.95, Cloth


May we suggest you support your local bookstore and order through them?

The book is also available through Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Bol.com and most other book sites.

Signed copies and out-of-print editions are available directly through the author. Just send an email

Email the Author
how the body teun voeten

Editorial Reviews and Advance Praise for 'How the body?'

"Photojournalist Voeten examines the curious duality of life in a war zone, where he might narrowly escape death in the morning and be offered a shower and a cup of coffee in the afternoon. A heroic portrayal of an overlooked, blood-soaked corner of the world."
--Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"The author witnesses the horrendous acts of the rebels and their leaders, now protected by the UN forces as official leaders in the negotiated peace settlements. He has written an exciting adventure that educates the West to one of the many wars about which we cannot afford to be indifferent."

"There are few, if any, journalists I admire as much as Voeten. His narrow escape from the rebels in Sierra Leone is one of the most harrowing tales IOve heard in a long time. He writes with compassion and understated dignity about a complicated civil war that had taken thousands of lives and nearly cost him his own. He is the real thing."
--Sebastian Junger, bestselling author of The Perfect Storm

"The enthralling account of a photojournalist's journeys through one of the most terrifying places on earth. Rather than a narrative of despair, however, Teun Voeten has rendered a powerful portrait of the people of Sierra Leone - their extraordinary strength and forgiveness - that leaves the reader both amazed and hopeful at the resiliency of the human spirit."
--Scott Anderson, war correspondent and author of The Man Who Tried to Save the World

"Fluent, reflective, often funny, and always humane, Teun Voeten has given is close-up insights into a horrible war through the prism of his own terrifying experiences."
--Andrew Cockburn, National Geographic writer and author of Out of Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein

teun voeten books

In 1994, Voeten started a photo reportage on the underground homeless in New York. This eventually became his first book. ’Tunnelmensen’ (1996) was published in Dutch by Atlas, Amsterdam. It appeared in an updated and translated version in 2010 in the USA.

Voeten made three photo books: ‘A Ticket To’ (1999), a dark, somber book with black and white photos from the conflicts in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. ‘Narco Estado, Drug Violence in Mexico’ (2012) depicts the horrible violence in strong color photos. 'New York, New York' (2005, 2021) features his architectural work he has been shooting since 1989.

After being nearly killed by doped up child soldiers in the civil war in Sierra Leone, Voeten wrote ‘How de Body? Hope and Horror in Sierra Leone’ which appeared in the Netherlands (2000) and the USA (2002). A Chines translation is in the making.

His PhD research resulted in the academic publication ‘The Mexican Drug Violence Hybrid Warfare, Predatory Capitalism and the Logic of Cruelty’ (2018). A Dutch journalistic version appeared the same year. In 2020, Small Wars Journal/El Centro published a completely rewritten, edited and updated version of this study.

In 2019, the city of Antwerp commissioned him to research drug related crime. This resulted eventually in ‘DRUGS. Antwerpen in de greep van de Nederlandse syndicaten’ (2020).

Contact Us


Publications by Teun Voeten
How to Book a Reading? Check it Out