Some 1.1 million migrants came to seek asylum in Germany’s borders in 2015 and more are on their way. While much attention has been given to the dangerous passage from Turkey to Greece and then northward, navigating closed borders and paying off smugglers, the migrants' difficult journey doesn't stop once they're in Germany.
Refugee shelters are overcrowded, and the bureaucracy one must go through to register for asylum feels endless. German government institutions are overburdened, the surge of newcomers has strained German society and Chancellor Angela Merkel's government. It's near impossible for asylum seekers to find work before their residency is processed, and even then the prospects for work are much less than either side had initially hoped.
Still, many who come to Germany remain hopeful that their situation will improve and see their new lives in Germany as their only option for safe and respectable lives.
This project highlights individual stories being played out in our world's great migration crisis. What is it like for refugees after they arrive and try to establish new lives for themselves in a culture about which they often know very little? Will traumas of war haunt them as they hope to build a new future? How does the EU's ever-shifting refugee policy affect asylum seekers' plans for a new life?