“(un)DOCUMENTED” uses photos and stories to explore the experiences of immigrants in New York City through a social justice lens. This exhibit raises important questions on human rights, dignity and belonging in the US.

Featuring: Various Artists

Presented by

PROOF: Media for Social Justice

Curated by

Leora Kahn






“A travel document is much more than a piece of paper. It is the weight that determines freedom or imprisonment, health or harm, family unity or separation, or injustice and rights.” – Abraham, Families for Freedom

Over 41 million immigrants, 13% of the population, call the US home. Millions more have parents who migrated here and live in communities that are directly affected by immigration policies.

Driven by a concern for this xenophobic rhetoric, we, a group of high school students, took part in Picture Justice 2016. The program was a partnership between the United Nations International School, PROOF: Media for Social Justice, and the New York State Youth Leadership Council. It provided us with the opportunity to explore the experiences of immigrants in New York City through a social justice lens. We trained with photographers and met with lawyers and activists working on immigration reform. We listened to and transcribed the stories of immigrants and took their portraits.

We believe that anyone who is forced to flee from violence, poverty, disaster or in search of a better life deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and that human rights should not be determined by a person’s papers.

We also believe that photos and stories can be powerful tools for social justice. With this exhibit, we hope to raise discussions around important and difficult questions on human rights and belonging in the US.


PROOF: Media for Social Justice is a nonprofit organization based in New York City that uses visual storytelling and education to inspire action on human rights and create attitude and policy change. Our exhibits and workshops aim to engage the broader public in conversations about human rights, peace, and justice through moving firsthand testimonies and powerful photo narratives.

The United Nations International School (UNIS) is affiliated with the United Nations. UNIS offers a K-12 education guided by the UN principles of global peace, fundamental human and equal rights sustainability, social progress and a free world. Its global curriculum enables students to better understand and act upon current global challenges. Students come from over 120 countries.

The New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC) was the first undocumented youth-led organization in New York. It works to empower immigrant youth through leadership development, grassroots organizing, educational advancement, and self-expression. NYSYLC’s goal is to give undocumented youth the tools and space to organize and create change in our communities.



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