The Invisibles

Undocumented Life – How Can That Be?

Hundreds of thousands of undocumented people live in Germany. The academic Dita Vogel estimates their number at up to half a million. That is greater than the number of people who visit the stadiums on a German Bundesliga match day. They all live without basic rights, work off the books and have no health insurance or pension plan.

von Benedict Wermter , Julian Jestadt , Florian Bickmeyer

© Ivo Mayr

We asked ourselves: how could this happen? How did so many people slip into illegality? We found three typical pathways. Click your way through our presentation and then read about a Nigerian, a Colombian and a Pakistani. All three live in Germany as Invisibles.

  1. Sneak into the country past the border controls: follow the first path into invisibility as a woman from Nigeria.
  2. Escape because you fear for your life and request asylum: follow the second path into invisibility as a man from Pakistan.
  3. Come to study and fall in love, for that reason you stay: follow the third path into invisibility as a man from Colombia.

Translation: Noah Walker-Crawford

Editor: Florian Bickmeyer

Design: Thorsten Franke, Simon Jockers, Ivo Mayr

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