Undocumented Living : In the land of the free by Daniel Ali

In June 2014 I travelled to Houston, Texas in the United States of America with the aim of documenting individuals working and living in a country where thousands strive to find a better life. These people are from all over the world, but largely from Central and Southern Americas, are widely referred to and labelled as undocumented immigrants.

In June 2014 I travelled to Houston, Texas in the United States of America with the aim of documenting individuals working and living in a country where thousands strive to find a better life.

These people are from all over the world, but largely from Central and Southern Americas, are widely referred to and labelled as undocumented immigrants.Despite the numbers deported by President Barack Obama during his term being larger than his predecessor George Bush it was unsurprisingly easy to see evidence of undocumented immigrants living and working in the city of Houston.

Finding individuals who were willing to take part in this series was a little challenging and for the sake of their security and protection their faces have been avoided and are referred to by a name of their own choosing. In this series the five subjects I met were open, honest and forthcoming with their stories and experiences. All of whom generally choose to live undocumented and illegally in order to provide themselves and their family with a fair chance of living a life unthreatened by the violence, corruption and anguish caused mainly through political instability and the familiar story of the drug industry rife in this part of the world.

9

Arturo (images 9-11), his wife and their six year old daughter have been in the United States of America for four years. It took them just over a month to make their way from their home in El Salvador, travelling approximately 1500 miles by buses, cars and a plane until they made their own way crossing an unofficial part of the border, arriving in Rio Grande City, Texas.
Arturo borrowed money from his friends back in El Salvador which he is still paying back so he could get his family to the USA, escaping the violence and ever growing problems associated with the drug industry.
After spending less then a year in Rio Grande City working, Arturo and his family moved further north to Houston in order to find more work. Back in El Salvador Arturo specialised in fixing, buidling and painting classic cars. Now Arturo waits at well known locations under flyovers and near to hardware stores where
undocumented immigrants are regularly picked up for all kinds of manual labour. Despite Arturo’s skills and experience he accepts any work including carpentry, painting and physically hard but tedius labour such as house removals.
Arturo expressed the constant fears of being asked for papers proving his right to work and the right to reside in the USA but also stressed to me that he feels safe in Houston and plans to continue providing a better life for himself and his family.

10

11

Briseida (images 15-18) lives in Houston with her two children. She came to the United States of America in 2001 when she was twenty-four years old. Briseida left Mexico due to common tourbles and fears. Despite studying, there was lack of work and she was afraid for her own safety due to the growing violence that threatens many people in their daily lives.

Leaving behind her parents knowing she may never be able to see them again, Briseida decided to follow her brothers to Houston. When crossing the border Briseida had to cross two check points, one controlled by Mexico and the second by the USA. Through connections and bribery she crossed the Mexican border with ease, but to cross into America Briseida had to be zipped into a large holdal which was then stowed beneath a child’s car seat with a child sat in the seat. Simple hiding places are normally discovered by generally thorough searches, however on this occasion Briseida was extremely lucky because the vehicle she was hidden in was not subject to a search.
Briseida’s life in the USA is comparatively less stressful compared to other Mexicans; she explained that this is due to her pale complextion. She is spared racial profiling and to this day despite coming into contact with the police for minor driving offences and having close calls at work with spot checks by
immigration officers, she has managed to avoid her residence status being
questioned or looked into. Despite her luck to date, Briseida lives one day to the next avoiding any possible altercations with the police. Breseida made it obvious that in order to give the best possible start to life she can for her two young children she would continue to live her life undocumented and illegally.

15

16 17 18

Jose (images 6-8) arrived in the United States of America in January of 2013. In order to protect the lives of his family and himself Jose was forced to leave his home in Honduras and attempt to claim asylum in the USA. Honduras currently suffers from the highest murder rate in the world and in light of this, Jose explained to me that he and his family were at risk purely for the sake of his political stance.
Jose legally arrived in the USA and began the process of claiming asylum, however due to the fear of being denied approval and forced to leave he decided to abscond and search for work.
I met Jose at one of the thirty Home Depot stores in Houston where he and many others wait everyday, all day, in the hope of getting manual work, usually paying around $10 per hour.
Jose fears he can never return home and may never see his family again. He told me that he plans to continue finding work in Houston so he can provide for his wife and sons back in Honduras.

6 7 8

Norman (images 12-14) works at a mechanics as a car body shop paint sprayer, and has been in the United States of America and his current job for four months. Aged
twenty-two, Norman has travelled between his home country Honduras and the USA a few times over a period of nearly ten years. He does this as he has two children back home in Honduras as well as a wife and two children who live in New York.
Norman has made each crossing with varying methods, his most recent entry into the USA was simply by plane using a visa specifically allowing him entry so he could visit his children who have American residency. The first time he crossed the border however it took Norman a month to make his way from Honduras to the north of Mexico, and a further three days to cross into Texas with the aid of the coyotaje. Coyotaje is used to refer to the people smugglers often associated with the cartel who charged Norman about one thousand dollars in order for them to lead him across the border.
When I asked Norman about his reasons for choosing to live in Houston, he told me it was partly because his brother lives there and was able to set Norman up with work, but also because it is the most convenient and central location between his four children.

12 13 14

I met Norvim (images 1-5) as I drove into the car park of a shopping strip off Highway Six in Houston. He was one of about fifteen that noticed my pick up truck and ran towards the vehicle in the hope that I was looking for workers.
Norvim is twenty-two years old and came to the United States of America back in 2012 arriving by plane with a tourist visa. Overstaying the visa Norvim found work in restaurants and found salvage in churches. He left the majority of his family back in Nicaragua apart from his mother who also lives in Houston. Norvim told me that his mother struggles to support herself so he tries not to put any added pressure on her and only asks for help when he is too physically exhausted to work and with no other options.
Norvim was proud to inform me he aims to attend college and/or university to study either engineering or business administration. Without hesitation or sarcasm, Norvim said he dreamt of being the president of his country Nicaragua and if that became impossible he plans to run his own business. [Official Website]

1

2

3 4 5

More Stories

AImagine: the new Era of making Art ?

AImagine: the new Era of making Art ?

We are experiencing a turning point; indeed, I would say a revolution in the artistic disciplines, especially those relating to visual art; it is the beginning of a new Era in which the current paradigms will no longer be valid, in which reality will be questioned or modified through alternative realities.
Terra Mater – Ode to My Family  by Marco Castelli

Terra Mater – Ode to My Family by Marco Castelli

Words are not inherently suitable to embrace any even blurred concept of time, and beside all speech being made nowadays around the sense of family, its true nature belongs to the undetectable trace we leave through centuries, and to our relationship with time itself.
The magical hidden world by Georgi Georgiev

The magical hidden world by Georgi Georgiev

The magical hidden world project was selected and published in our print edition 23. These photos are one of my personal best from the past few years. Most of them are from one place where I spend every spare moment to take photos.

Portrait Photography Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the Portrait Photography Awards. We are looking
for the best portrait for this year, 2023.

Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of portrait photography.

DEADLINE | FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2023

PHOTO BY © JOSE GIRL
Sleepless by Rebecca Sexton Larson

Sleepless by Rebecca Sexton Larson

Growing up I always had an affinity with the night. It was when I did my most productive work, alone in my bedroom free from noise and distractions. I would find comfort in the subdued light and quiet stillness, losing a sense of time and being absorbed in the moment of creating art.
Pride and prejudice by Renata Dutrée

Pride and prejudice by Renata Dutrée

Pride and prejudice project was selected and published in our print edition 23. This ongoing series of studio portraits of young men is intended to challenge the viewer with social constructs that are centered around masculinity and femininity. Gender bias, gender roles and stereotypes can affect everyone negatively.
Gender identity; Lexi by Timothi Jane Graham

Gender identity; Lexi by Timothi Jane Graham

I first met Lexi at the beginning of her medical gender affirmation journey in December 2020. At 58 years old, she had identified and lived as a woman for decades behind closed doors. She was born and raised in Ecuador where the LGBTQ community faces intense discrimination which often ends in violence.

Featured Stories

Window by Fang Tong

Window by Fang Tong

It is often said that eyes are windows to the soul. When we think of windows, we usually look through the window at the scenery and the world.This time I want to change the perspective by looking from outside the window to inside to see different emotions and situations.
Vignettes of a salesman by Ole Marius Joergensen

Vignettes of a salesman by Ole Marius Joergensen

A lot of traditions are being lost as new technologies are invading our day-to-day world. The door-to-door salesman is a relic from the 50s.
Ethiopia; The art of disappearing by Harry Fisch

Ethiopia; The art of disappearing by Harry Fisch

The trucks continually roll past the roads that lead to their villages, spitting out so much dust that people living in the villages can no longer breathe. 
Interruption by Indranil Banerjee

Interruption by Indranil Banerjee

Busy street corners, Blaring horns of vehicles, Homeless people sleeping on the footpaths, traffic jam,school children of a nearby girls school crossing the road, like all their daily routine, It was just like another day in the Metropolitan.
The Story Of one Family by Anna Galley

The Story Of one Family by Anna Galley

This story is about my grandmother. She is now 90 years old. She has 5 children, 10 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren. This story shows how one person is able to pull together a large family and keep  love in this family for many years.
Irish Travellers by Joseph-Philippe Bevillard

Irish Travellers by Joseph-Philippe Bevillard

Since 2009, I have been documenting Irish Travellers using a b&w film medium format camera. But an unfortunate incident occurred when I realised I left my bag full of Hasselblad film cameras and lenses on the train from Venice to Rome in May 2018.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/bannerpr.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Portrait Photography Awards. Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of portrait photography.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/mono2022.jpg

The best 100 images along with the winning images published in the yearly book “Monochromatic – Best Photographers of 2022”

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/banner24.jpg

Call For Entries #24 | After 23 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Oshichi by Michiko Chiyoda

Oshichi by Michiko Chiyoda

‘Oshichi’ is a name of the doll and ‘she’ played as a 16-year-old girl who was put to death by burning at the stake for committing arson.
Homemade by Adele Schelling

Homemade by Adele Schelling

The initial drive for Homemade is the stubborn desire the artist has felt to grow roots in the U.S.A, having moved to NYC from Switzerland a little over a year ago. There are a variety of ways to ground oneself into a different culture
Andrea Rossato ; Joy for all ages …

Andrea Rossato ; Joy for all ages …

Summer holidays at sea is a time of joy and fun for all ages. Sometimes the seniors become kids again, other times parents play jokes on children. The social rules are, thus, often broken, creating in this way brand new relationships.
Nathan Wirth ; Twilight by the Sea(sons)

Nathan Wirth ; Twilight by the Sea(sons)

I first decided to pursue photography for many reasons: a love of black and white photography, a desire to reflect the silences of nature through imagery, and a wish to express a kind of visual poetry. 
Greatest jockeys; Fortza Paris by Marco Cheli

Greatest jockeys; Fortza Paris by Marco Cheli

Fortza Paris; Marco Cheli’s project was selected and published in our print edition 16. Over the years, until today there are many young Sardinians, specifically from Barbagia, who leave their island with the dream of becoming a jockey of the Palio di Siena.
Nostalgia by Mauricio Candela

Nostalgia by Mauricio Candela

A reflection on how fast the world moves today because of technology. And as a result, how younger generations have walked away from the simplest and most basic things in life.

Trending Stories

Soft darkness and absence: Dante Guthrie Photography

Soft darkness and absence: Dante Guthrie Photography

This is a collection of work from 2014 that was taken in Europe and Canada. They are from various projects consisting of an overarching theme of soft darkness and absence, with the relationship between humanity and nature also being explored.
Pocket Beach by Salvatore Matarazzo

Pocket Beach by Salvatore Matarazzo

A beach long 2,5 Km in Marina Di Massa, flanked to historical buildings, dating back to the Fascist period, that still at a distance of years, affect the territory and vacationers who frequent the beach.
Last of its Kind by Andrea Wolff

Last of its Kind by Andrea Wolff

The images in this series, "Last of its Kind," are infrared portraits of taxidermied animals in natural history museums.Most were plentiful when they were collected at the beginning of the last century, but are now so few that they hover near extinction.
Ethnic Tibetan boys; Wind-hardened by Anton Jankovoy

Ethnic Tibetan boys; Wind-hardened by Anton Jankovoy

I have met these ethnic Tibetan boys in their native village on 2,380 m altitude in Manaslu area (Nepal). You may not find in the whole world such an independent and self-confident children like those in Himalayas who live a simple natural life.
Jean-Pierre Duvergé – Photo fine art

Jean-Pierre Duvergé – Photo fine art

My project is to pursue this work of studies of sea landscapes which for me represents a real subject the serenity of which I like passing on.The photographers whom I admire particularly are Ansel Adam, Edward Weston but also Michael Kenna, Yucel Basoglu or Volker Birke, among others.
Love for dinner by Tomassco

Love for dinner by Tomassco

Tomassco-a fashion photographer, born in a small town of Kelme in Lithuania. Discovered an interest in photography at 10, shooting friends and first selfies.
Involvement with nature; Surroundings by Ulla Von Czékus

Involvement with nature; Surroundings by Ulla Von Czékus

The Surroundings series arose from the experience of my involvement with nature, I wanted to play being a tree, being a plant, I wanted to be part of it. I am part of the whole, I am not one thing and nature another.
America in a Trance by Niko J.Kallianiotis

America in a Trance by Niko J.Kallianiotis

About two decades ago my father moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, and this was only my second experience with the United States.In the late 70’s he took the journey from Greece to the Big Apple to pursue a PhD, which led him to the Keystone State.
Portrait photography; The other side of venus by Anna Charlotte Schmid

Portrait photography; The other side of venus by Anna Charlotte Schmid

In the limbo of post-puberty the revelation is the highly sensitive form of vulnerability. Bodily-change and self-confidence go along the dangerous path of realization of one‘s identity

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.