As a cross-media journalist and photographer in Vancouver, B.C., I report on how decisions by politicians, companies, algorithms, and social movements affect individuals, especially people without privileges or in critical situations.

What is it like to immigrate to the US and work without papers? Why is San Francisco's hinterland so poor? How critical can the World Bank's chief economist be if her predecessor resigned after an internal controversy?

I am a full-time journalist since 2010, in North America since 2014, speak four languages, and have worked in (post) conflict countries.

Many more texts on my German site >>

Christina Felschen - journalist & photographer

Can her research reform the World Bank?

published by Letter, the magazine of the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD >> (and as a short version on the DAAD website >>)

When Professor Pinelopi „Penny“ Goldberg applied for the position of chief economist at the World Bank in 2018, it was not her first application to the bank. Thirty years before she had applied for an internship, but was rejected. She took it as a challenge, which brought her from Freiburg to Yale and finally to Washington D.C. nonetheless.

Undocumented – and indispensable

published in German by ZEIT ONLINE on February 28, 2017; translated in September 2017 >>

Harvest workers, nannies, craftspeople: Eleven million people live in the US without papers, nothing goes without them. Trump wants to deport them anyway. A life full of fear.

Crossing – what if people die in your backyard

broadcasted on German public radio SWR on November 7 and 8, 2016, and again on August 14, 2018 >

Kat Rodriguez has one of the hardest jobs along the US Mexican border. She supports Central American families in finding relatives who went missing on their journey to the US. All too often, they find their bodies in the Sonoran Desert behind Kat’s house. On her mission to stop the deaths, Kat crossed the desert on foot with 70 women, men, teenagers and me. Join us in my radio feature.

Amanda’s Prison

final film of the New York Film Academy’s documentary program

Amanda Morales Guerra has rarely seen the light of day since she entered Holyrood Church Santa Cruz almost a year ago. As she fled violence in her native Guatemala and, after years in the US, a deportation order by the Trump administration, priest and activist Luis Barrios had offered her sanctuary in his church in Uptown Manhattan. When I visit Amanda, she is caught up in memories of the inflatable children’s pool in her garden in Long Island, her own slice of the American Dream.

How Clearview helps the Trump administration target undocumented immigrants

published on the NUDGED blog, March 14, 2020 >>

A small US company is selling an app that might end our ability to walk down the street anonymously. Among its clients: authoritarian states and US immigration enforcement. Jacinta Gonzalez, an organizer with the NGO Mijente, talked with us about why this puts the 11 million undocumented people in the United States at an even higher risk for deportation.

“It was the perfect storm”

Published on the NUDGED blog, March 18, 2020 >>

Before 700,000 Rohingya fled the genocide in Myanmar in 2017, the military had riled up millions of users against the group in a hate speech campaign on Facebook. Why did the company not intervene? And could this happen again? Human rights experts Matthew Smith (Fortify Rights) and Alan Davis (Institute for War and Peace Reporting), who both witnessed the events leading up to the genocide, shared their insights with me on the phone.

The techie resistance

Published on the NUDGED blog, March 6, 2020 >>

Dirty data, greed for gain and a lack of diversity in the tech sector: There are many reasons why algorithms discriminate. But lawyers, regulators and, most importantly, critical techies have started standing up against A.I.’s destructive potential. Will human intelligence win?

“Algorithms are opinions embedded in code”

published on the NUDGED blog, February 28, 2020 >>

Tech companies have taken over the power to make decisions for us. That can be convenient as long as it concerns playlists or navigation. However, under the guise of “objectivity”, their algorithms also categorize humans and reinforce social inequality.

Fenced In, Fenced Out

German version (with photo essay) published February 14, 2017 by ZEIT ONLINE >>

In the US Mexican borderlands, even Trump voters oppose the president’s plan to erect a border wall. They fear that even more immigrants will die in their backyard.

The dictator next door

published in six languages in the European Magazine on January 5th, 2012 >> and shortlisted for the CEE Journalism Prize („Writing for Central and Eastern Europe“) 2012 >>

Belarus is Europe’s last dictatorship, but the Lithuanian capital Vilnius is located close to the border. Belarusian human rights campaigners use Vilnius as an asylum and distribution centre – yet they don’t feel completely safe. The Lithuanian president keeps up a good relationship with the Belarusian despot.

“We all want our ideas to be heard”

published by on the occasion of the Internet Governance Forum >> (German version >>) in November 2019

How can citizens be involved in governing by contributing their wishes, ideas and expertise? And how can leaders use big data to make their work more transparent and prevent corruption? Beth Simone Noveck, law professor and director of the GovLab research center in New York, advises governments worldwide on open governance – for example Barack Obama during his time in office and, since 2018, the German government. In this interview, she talks about this democracy of small steps and the chances and challenges of Germany’s Digital Council.

“I want to encourage people to be themselves”

published by Alumniportal Deutschland in November 2019 >> and in German >>

Mayowa Osinubi from Atlanta, Georgia, is constantly trying out new genres: She modelled, directed a documentary film and started both a YouTube channel and a feminist comedy show. She currently lives in Berlin as Chancellor Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In the interview she talks about how the internet gave her the feeling to belong – a feeling she was missing offline.