The refugee crisis and how it impacts Denmark


A collaborative documentary film project by the international

photojournalism students at the Danish School of Media and Journalism



Whether it be the advertising campaign in Lebanese media created by the Danish immigration ministry attempting to scare off would be refugees, or slashing benefits for asylum seekers, these tactics have been attempted by Denmark to reduce the influx of refugees over the last few years.


The Syrian Civil War has created four million refugees. Of these four million, 700,000 Syrian refugees and other migrants have risked their lives to travel to Europe for a better life (WorldVision).


The EU announced they would take 120,000 refugees in addition to the 40,000 they agreed to take in May 2015. These refugees would be split across the EU in quotas, each country taking a certain amount. Denmark, however decided not to take part in this mandatory distribution of asylum seekers proposed by the EU.


On November 12, Sweden introduced border checks for the first time since the beginning of the refugee crisis, monitoring trains and ferries from mainland Europe and stopping those without sufficient documents. This affects many families and refugees traveling through Denmark on their way to Sweden. Sweden accepts the largest number of asylum seekers in Europe, averaging about 10,000 a week.


After at least 10,900 refugees crossed into Denmark in one week, PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen announced that the Danish government would make family reunification more difficult, shorten the length or residence permits, cut benefits to refugees and asylum seekers all while making it more difficult to enter Denmark in the first place.


These are four stories surrounding the refugee crisis. The impact on Denmark has been great, whether on its citizens or those trying to pass through or obtain citizenship. These are four stories of fear, struggle and integration.






by Emily Macinnes and Riina Rinne


Karen, a retired Danish woman, finds love in a Syrian-Iraqi family. The Abdulhamid family fled Syria to seek refuge in Denmark but found themselves torn apart by Danish immigration policies. Karen does everything she can to help the family in the hope that they won't be sent back.



by Sergiy Polezhaka and Lobna Tarek


An uncertainty is the best friend of a refugee. The family of Falah and Noor is one of the victims of this uncertainty. Trying to save their kids future and forget suffering of the past, they constantly find themselves in the middle of nowhere.



by Nicole Boliaux, Sofija Korf and Sonja Palade


At the age of 23, Henrik Dahlin has formed conservative views on important issues affecting his country. While the number of refugees and immigrants in Denmark grows during the refugee crisis, the attitudes towards immigration have become more negative. According to Eurobarometer, a record number of people in Nordic countries like Sweden and Denmark see immigration as one of the two most important issues today.



by Alaa Elkamhawi and Gino Kleisen


Rony Omar (25) fled from Syria to Denmark one year ago. Although he is in a good position now, with a job, a house and his family came over safely he still feels alienated between two worlds.



The stories were produced in 2015 by the Photo 1 International Class at the Danish School of Media and Journalism in Aarhus in cooperation with Bombay Flying Club.