Special project collection: Paths to Refuge

The Useful Village

Sumte, Lower Saxony, Germany
Sumte, Lower Saxony, Germany

In the fall of 2015, Germany designated Sumte, population 102, as a sanctuary for nearly 800 refugees. What followed was a living experiment in the country’s principles.

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Published: April 3, 2017

Valerie Schmidt is a photographer whose work has been shown in many exhibitions in Europe and in the United States. She is based in Berlin and is a visiting professor for photography at the Hochschule Rhein-Waal in Kamp-Lintfort, Germany.

George Butler is an award-winning artist. In 2012, Butler walked into Syria, where as guest of the Free Syrian Army he drew war-damaged Azaz. This set him on a journey to demonstrate that illustration was equally valuable for recording current affairs in contrast to the news industry’s obsession with headlines...