The phrase “undocumented unafraid” arose in 2010 during a student-led pro-immigrant movement. By acknowledging their status as undocumented in the U.S., the students gave power to the undocumented person’s voice. They brought it from deep in the shadows out into the world, enriched with personal stories and experiences from the undocumented community.
The design Undocumented Unafraid was created at YBCA in 2017 as part of Sanctuary City Project’s first edition of silkscreen posters. The posters created an opportunity for Sanctuary City Project to talk about the power of this student-led movement, while also examining the power structures and systems set in place to keep the undocumented community in fear.
The UNDO MEN neon asks the viewer to observe and acknowledge these dualities. Within the letters of “UNDOCUMENTED UNAFRAID,” one can find “MEN RAID,” “MEN AFRAID,” and “UNDO MEN,” shining light on the patriarchal structure of government officials that creates these immigration policies—and the negative consequences these policies have on the lives of those in the undocumented community.
Grand Lobby, YBCA
UNDO MEN, 2023
Designed by Sergio De La Torre for Sanctuary City Project
Produced by Peterson Neon
Neon sign, Edition of 5