Maria Groot (1983) is an independent journalist, based in Palermo (Italy).

She writes human-interest stories, profiles as well as investigative articles about topics such as slavery in Mauritania, migrant smuggling in the Netherlands and Nigeria’s struggle to make culture a new treasure trove. My cross-border projects were supported by Free Press, Fonds Pascal Decroos and others.

Her work has appeared in Slate (US), Courrier International (FR), De Groene Amsterdammer (NL), De Standaard (BE), Roads & Kingdoms (US), MO* (BE), Reader’s Digest (US), Apache (BE) and Internazionale (IT) among others.

She holds a postgraduate degree in International Research Journalism, a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts.

She was born in The Netherlands in 1983 and moved to Belgium in 2004. She is currently based in Palermo (Italy).

Basic information

Maria Groot
Slavery in Mauritania, migrant smuggling in the Netherlands, culture in Nigeria

Supported projects

Nigeria's artist village

  • Art
Inspired by the staggering success of its film industry Nollywood, Nigeria now wants to boost its other creative industries. Culture is primed to be the country's next oil. The government has labeled the cultural sector ‘potentially the biggest source of economical growth’ and accords it preferred status. A flourishing cultural sector is expected to provide jobs, improve Nigeria’s international standing and attract foreign capital.

Slaves of the Sahara

  • Equal opportunities
  • International
  • Work

MAURITANIA - Officially, slavery does no longer exists in Mauritania, a barren desert country in West Africa. But according to Anti-Slavery International, at least 4% of the Mauritanians are still the property of a master. They are born as slaves and have never been free. Not even in their minds.