Daniel Trilling

Daniel Trilling recently contributed a chapter to Broke: Fixing Britain’s Poverty Crisis. He was shortlisted for the 2023 Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness.

Short Cuts: At the Selmentsi Crossing

Daniel Trilling, 31 July 2014

The European Union’s​ eastern frontier cuts through Selmentsi, a village on the border of Slovakia and Ukraine. On the Ukrainian side, the road leading to the checkpoint is lined with shops selling fake designer clothes. The villagers serving in the shops slip easily between Hungarian, Russian, Ukrainian and Slovakian, a legacy of the region’s contested history. Once part of the...

Short Cuts: At the Amygdaleza Prison Camp

Daniel Trilling, 5 March 2015

Roughly​ every other night for the past two months, my phone has rung at around 11 p.m. Most of the time I don’t answer, as I don’t speak any of the caller’s language and he doesn’t speak enough of mine to make the conversation worthwhile. Sometimes, in the morning, there is an answerphone message: a pause, then an Urdu-accented voice saying ‘Hello?’ two...

Since​ the civil war in Syria began in 2011, more than 12 million people have been displaced by the fighting, 4.1 million of whom have fled the country. The flow of refugees from Syria has been constant, but there have been two great surges in the past four years. The first was in the middle of 2013, when fighting intensified. That was when the Assad regime stepped up its attacks, the Arab...

Short Cuts: On the Night Bus to Idomeni

Daniel Trilling, 17 December 2015

Nothing much​ happened on the night bus from Athens to Idomeni. A baby cried, people shuffled in their seats, the driver switched the lights on and told whoever was eating sunflower seeds not to make a mess of his coach. But no one suffocated or drowned; nobody assaulted anybody; no one froze to death or broke down in tears. The ticket agents and the coach owners are entrepreneurs, not people...

From The Blog
29 February 2016

Ilya B., my great-grandfather, is buried in the Jewish cemetery at Weissensee in Berlin. He was born around 1880, into a middle-class family in Kiev, which was then part of the Russian Empire. Like many Jews in Kiev at the time, he spoke Russian, not Ukrainian. Russian was the language of power, essential for minorities who wanted access to jobs or education.

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