Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 16, 2011.

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Documenting refugees from their first steps on American soil to the cities and towns where they're rebuilding their communities.

Help Us Finish The Refugee Hotel Book!

Three years ago, we set out to document the experiences of refugees from around the world on their first night in the United States, as they cross the border between their pasts and their futures. We traveled to the five international ports-of-entry in the United States—New York, Newark, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles—and photographed these refugees inside the airport hotels where each spent the first hours of his or her new American life. 

Now, years later, we want to follow up, visit the refugees we met and tell the stories—through photography and the written word—of how they’ve rebuilt their lives and communities on American soil. We are trying to fund trips to nine different cities and towns across the U.S. where they've resettled. When we’re done reporting, we will turn these stories and photographs into a book, to be published by McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house based in San Francisco.

We aim to tell the personal stories of these refugees, as well as explore their communities and neighborhoods to investigate how they have influenced each other. We will shoot photographs, conduct interviews and record sound and motion, all of which will be documented in our travel blog, to be updated regularly for the duration of our project.

The refugees we’ll document have been resettled all over the country, and in order to visit them we’ll need to travel. A lot. Between grants and an advance from the publisher we’ve already pinned down about half of the funding we need, but we are still short $6,000. Every penny of this—and the money we’ve already secured—will go towards the hard costs of travel including airfare, hotels and any cars we’ll need to rent. Here is a rough outline of our itinerary, sure to yield amazing results:

Charlottesville, Virginia

Fargo, North Dakota

New York: Albany, Rochester, Ithica

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Mobile, Alabama

Amarillo, Texas

Erie, Pennsylvania

Trenton, New Jersey

Kent, Washington

Thank you for your support!

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    22 backers

    Exclusive blog updates, a thank you mention in our book and a one-of-a-kind postcard featuring a photo we take from the road.

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    54 backers

    Exclusive blog updates, a thank you mention, one of a kind postcard from the road and a signed copy of the book.

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    28 backers

    Exclusive blog updates, a thank you mention, a signed copy of the book and one limited-edition archival print of a photo from the book.

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    11 backers

    Exclusive blog updates, a thank you mention and a gift box including a signed copy of the book, a portfolio of three limited-edition prints and some surprise souvenirs from the road.

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    Everything above, plus ten limited edition prints.

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    2 backers

    Exclusive blog updates, a thank you mention and a gift box including three signed copies of the book, a portfolio of ten limited-edition prints with a personalized note, lots of surprise souvenirs from the road and an invitation to a really, really fun party in either New York or San Francisco with lots of food, booze and music!

Funding period

- (35 days)