Verónica G. Cárdenas is an emerging documentary photographer based in the southernmost region in Texas known as the Rio Grande Valley. Migration issues are a recurring theme that she explores. Her work has been shown at the United Nations, Long Island City Arts, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley-UTRGV, Festival of International Books and Arts (FESTIBA), South Texas College, and Festival Internacional de Poesía Latinoamericana (FEIPOL) among others. Some of the publications where her work has been featured include The Guardian, El Mundo, Splinter News, Feature Shoot and Juxtapoz.
In the new American era under Donald Trump, undocumented immigrants face greater vulnerability than ever. Constant threats regarding the border wall and the treatment of America’s newest residents have reduced them to a faceless, objectified, and targeted population.
This work explores what it means to be a faceless immigrant, exposed to aggressive and dangerous legislation, vulnerable to exploitation, and left with virtually no opportunities in a country that once built its name on openness to outsiders.
This two-part series includes images that were taken in México and along the Rio Grande Valley on both sides of the border. The first part of the series presents a group of individuals who could become undocumented immigrants at some point in their lives due to the limited amount of opportunities to make a better living or due to violence in their countries. The second part of the series presents the undocumented population in South Texas where fear and uncertainty is a daily reality.
In this series, these groups opt for adopting the most powerful persona in the world. Wearing the mask ensures that their identity is protected from what is coming these next four years and possible changes thereafter. The noun "undocumented immigrant" has been replaced by "trump" to further protect their identity.