Caitlin L Chandler

Writer, investigative journalist

I'm a longform journalist and writer covering migration, security and human rights (among other topics). At present I'm a member of the Lighthouse Reports Surveillance Newsroom and teach journalism as an Adjunct Faculty member at the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE) in Berlin. In 2023, I received a Robert B. Silvers Foundation Grant for Work in Progress. Previous grants/awards: International Women's Media Foundation fellowship (2020); Investigative Journalism for Europe cross-border grant (as part of a team); EU Migration Media Award (2019), European Cross Border grant from as part of a team, International Reporting Project Africa Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution fellowship on Sudan, the German Otto Brenner Preis for investigative reporting (as part of a team), and an Anne LaBastille Writing Residency for creative nonfiction. My story for CJR, The Doctors vs #MeToo, was highlighted on Longreads and Longform and my work appeared on the cover of The Washington Post Magazine. Co-creator of; formerly a senior editor at Africa Is A Country and in-progress M.F.A. candidate in nonfiction at Randolph College in Virginia.

Harper's Magazine
Over the Horizon, by Caitlin L. Chandler

"I like keeping things alive," Boubacar Diallo told me. He had raised animals his whole life, a hobby he inherited from his father, a soldier in the Nigerien Army. "Anyone will tell you the address to my house is the place where the cattle are outside."

Washington Post
How My Hometown Produced a Jan. 6 Sedition Suspect (cover story)

On the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, Thomas Caldwell and his wife, Sharon, woke up in a hotel room in Arlington, Va., just outside the nation's capital. The couple from rural Clarke County, Va., traveled with several members of the Oath Keepers extremist group into Washington, D.C., to protest the results of the presidential election, which they believed had been stolen.

The Dial
Skeletons from Kilimanjaro - The Dial

MARCH 28, 2023 PHOTO: Ngalami, Chief of Shira, with another chief and their entourage. Reproduction from Johannes Schanz/ H. Adolphi, Am Fuße der Bergriesen-Ostafrikas, and published with the permission of the Evangelisch-Lutherisches Missionswerk Leipzig.

Columbia Journalism Review
The Doctor vs. #MeToo

One day in June 2019, Juliane Löffler was at her desk in BuzzFeed Germany 's Berlin office when a notification popped up on Slack. A colleague had sent her a link to a Facebook post that was circulating online. In the post, a prominent figure of Berlin's queer scene revealed that his doctor had assaulted him.

The New York Review of Books
Integration and Its Discontents: Germany's Bold Experiment

Since Chancellor Angela Merkel's government decided in 2015 to temporarily open its border to asylum-seekers and admit close to one million people at the height of what became known as "Europe's refugee crisis," Germany has engaged in a series of impassioned and sometimes ferocious arguments over immigration.

the Guardian
Sci-fi surveillance: Europe's secretive push into biometric technology

Patrick Breyer didn't expect to have to take the European commission to court. The softly spoken German MEP was startled when in July 2019 he read about a new technology to detect from facial "micro-expressions" when somebody is lying while answering questions.

The New York Review of Books
Rome: Where Migrants Face Eviction as Fascists Find a Home

Across Italy, some 10,000 migrants and refugees are living in squats. In search of shelter, many have joined vulnerable Italians in occupying empty buildings. The housing crisis is not an accident. It is part of a deliberate strategy by the government to make Italy as inhospitable to migrants as possible.

the Guardian
Hard power: Europe's military drift causes alarm

he EU was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2012 in recognition of "six decades of promoting peace and reconciliation" in Europe. In his acceptance speech in Oslo, the then president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, said the world could "count on our efforts to fight for lasting peace, freedom and justice".

Dissent Magazine
How Far Will the EU Go to Seal Its Borders? | Dissent Magazine

As controlling migration rapidly becomes the EU's top priority, it's ready to pay African governments to prevent refugees from reaching Europe-even if that means using paramilitaries to stop them. Caitlin L. Chandler ▪ Summer 2018 Khartoum used to be a city where you could disappear.

Brussels considers pan-EU police searches of ID photos

Ready for your closeup? Your face could soon be included in police databases searchable by law enforcement across the European Union. The Council of the EU has been advised to include photos of the Continent's residents in a network of databases that could be searched by police using facial recognition software, according to an internal report circulated by the Austrian government and obtained by POLITICO.

The Nation
6 Years, 8 Countries: An Eritrean Couple's Harrowing Search for Safety

Daniel was 19 when he began his mandatory service, stationed at the notorious Sawa military base. Within two weeks, he developed chronic diarrhea from the harsh conditions; he dropped from 140 pounds to less than 100 in a matter of weeks. Meanwhile, his defiant temperament constantly drew the officers' anger.

Columbia Journalism Review
A People's History of a Pandemic

Tammam Aloudat is no stranger to outbreaks. As a physician for Doctors Without Borders' Access Campaign, he works to make medicine and vaccines accessible for regions of the world afflicted with diseases largely forgotten in rich countries: tuberculosis, hepatitis C, kala azar, and sleeping sickness, among others.

The Other World

" Every day in Syria a new plane dropped a bomb on us. We ran away [to another part of Syria]; then bombs also fell there, so we ran here. This is a very bad climate-there is a shortage of water.

The New York Review of Books
Pandemic Journal

A running series of brief dispatches by New York Review writers documenting the coronavirus outbreak with regular updates from around the world, including Ben Mauk in Penang, Martin Filler in Southampton, Eula Biss in Evanston, Richard Ford in East Boothbay, George Weld in Brooklyn, Nilanjana Roy in New Delhi, Ursula Lindsey in Amman, Zoë Schlanger in Brooklyn, Dominique Eddé in Beirut, Lucy McKeon in Brooklyn, Yiyun Li in Princeton, Caitlin L.

EU expanding biometric data collection on non-EU citizens

The European Union is about to become a lot safer - at least on paper. Lawmakers are set to approve plans for an enormous new database that will collect biometric data on almost all non-EU citizens in Europe's visa-free Schengen area.

Dissent Magazine
The Mass Movement That Toppled Omar al-Bashir | Dissent Magazine

The Sudanese protesters' victory built on a long history of opposition to the country's dictatorship. Now, they are determined to create a civilian government and avoid military rule. Caitlin L. Chandler ▪ April 25, 2019 Kober is the largest prison in Sudan.

The Nation
Germany's Faith-Based Sanctuary Activists Have Created a National Movement

Current Issue Amanuel is slender and fit, with curly black hair and a noticeably gentle demeanor. In Eritrea, he trained and worked as a nurse. As a young man he was in constant danger of lifelong re-conscription into the military, which in Eritrea, the UN has said, constitutes slave labor.

The Nation
We Are All Refugees: A Conversation With Mohsin Hamid

But also I think just imagining a positive future is important, because the world in many ways is getting better. The average person, the poorest quarter of the planet, consume far more calories than they did 50 years ago, they are living longer, the gap between the average education of boys and girls is diminishing.

The ways in which movement can and cannot heal

An interview with author Emmanuel Iduma on traveling through twenty African cities. Interview by Caitlin L Chandler There is a scene in A Stra n ger's Pose , Emmanuel Iduma 's new nonfiction book, when he wanders the Moroccan city, Rabat, with a companion who offers to, "show you how Nigerians live here."

The Nation
Europe Is Trying to Rid Itself of the Eritrean Refugee Crisis

Aster's one-story house in southern Eritrea was painted white and teal. Five front windows overlooked a lawn, where her four daughters could play and donkeys grazed. Her father obtained permission from the government to build in 2002; they began building in 2013.

The Syrian Refugee Giving Back to Germany

Alex Assali woke up in his small Berlin flat on the morning of November 22, 2015, and checked his email. There were 1,000 messages waiting for him. The day before, a friend had uploaded a photograph to Facebook of Assali feeding homeless people on the streets of Berlin.

Why Are Oromo Refugees Getting Sent Back to Ethiopia?

Tariku Debela, in jeans, walks carefully through the streets of Eastleigh, Nairobi. Photo by Ebba Abbamurti. On a warm evening last month, Tariku Debela was walking home from dinner in the immigrant enclave of Eastleigh, Nairobi, when he was jumped by four men who took his phone and more than $200 in cash.

Africa is a Country
Does the Gates Foundation do more harm than good?

In July 2010, I attended the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria. Representatives of the Gates Foundation's HIV team set-up shop inside the venue with a private conference room. For those of us working for civil society organizations, a meeting with the Gates Foundation was highly coveted yet illusive - you had to know someone who knew someone.

The Nation
Refugees to Europe: Do Better Than This

In January 2012, a 29-year-old Iranian refugee, Muhammed Rahsapar, committed suicide at a refugee center in Würzburg, a town in central Germany. His death sparked an outcry at the conditions in which refugees were housed.

Africa is a Country
Dispatch from Berlin

In August 1992, a mob of neo-Nazis attacked a hostel for foreigners in the northern German city of Rostock, hurling stones and petrol bombs. The attack lasted for four days, encouraged by an estimated 3,000 cheering spectators. After two days, the police left the scene; the mob then set fire to a building housing Vietnamese workers and their families.