Inside the lives of asylum-seekers in Germany
Hover over a tiny planet to choose a story
In late August 2015, 71 migrants were found dead in the back of a truck in Austria.
The image of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi’s body washed up on the shores of Turkey barely a week later became a symbol for the refugee crisis.
Germany opened its doors to refugees from all over the world, and specifically those fleeing Syria. "The fundamental right to asylum for the politically persecuted knows no upper limit; that also goes for refugees who come to us from the hell of a civil war," Chancellor Angela Merkel declared in September 2015.
Since then, the narrative in much of mainstream U.S. media has echoed with overwhelming numbers: “Germany to Spend $6.6 Billion on 800,000 Refugees and Migrants”, “Germany is taking in more refugees in 2015 than the US has in the past 10 years” and “Germany's refugee bill to top $22 billion.”. The current humanitarian problem has been touted as one of the worst refugee crises since World War II.
This project aims to provide perspectives absent from much of the current news on refugees around the globe — a peek into what life is like for those who have made it to Europe in search of safety, freedom, better lives.
In January 2016, we conducted interviews with asylum seekers in five different German cities. This new media project tells their stories in text, animation, interviews and 360 video.
Special thanks to each individual who shared their story with us.
Thanks to Richard Koci Hernandez, Jeremy Rue, David Cohn, Dolly Li, Anna Flagg and Allison McCartney for allowing us to experiment and supporting our crazy ideas.
Thanks to Alison Vayne and Atia Musazay for translation assistance, as well as Melina Tupa, Nadine Sebai and Marcos Martinez for lending us their acting talent.
Vielen Dank to Christine Lehner and family for hosting us in Munich, Matthias Schacherbauer and the staff at the Clearingstelle in Passau, Nina Nadig (and flatmates) in Muenster, Marie Wildermann in Berlin and our impromptu translators in Muenster and Passau. Many thanks also to all kebab restaurants throughout Germany for sustaining us.
Lastly, thanks to our friends and family in the Bay Area and around the world for support and love.