Define American Brings Undocumented Art Show to Film Festival - Define American

Featured Blog post

Define American Brings Undocumented Art Show to Film Festival

Art Exhibit to Put Undocumented Life Outside of Political Tragedy on Display

CHICAGO, IL – Define American will bring its much celebrated art series “Undocujoy” to the 2018 Define American Film Festival in Chicago, IL from April 20-22. The Chicago installment of “Undocujoy,” like the series’ exhibits in Los Angeles and San Francisco, provides a dedicated space in which undocumented people can tell their own stories, in their own way. Undocujoy creates a space to rewrite the narrative of who they are, away from the often tragedy-centric stories presented by mainstream media. “Undocujoy” Chicago will showcase the work of featured artist Heldáy de la Cruz, an undocumented and queer illustrator and graphic designer, aiming to give a stage to the undocumented community through art.

“I’m excited to be working with Define American because as an undocumented person, I value vulnerability, commitment, and honesty from the community I am building for myself,” says de la Cruz. “Define American is just that, and more.”

The series is curated by Define American Artist in Residence Yosimar Reyes, a critically acclaimed poet and performance artist using his experience in the art world to lift up other undocumented artists and storytellers.

Reyes says, “#Undocujoy was created as a love letter to undocumented immigrants to remind one another of our power and the many ways we have managed to survive. All the artists featured in this project have provided the glimpse of hope I needed in these turbulent times, when our communities are under attack.”

Admission to the exhibit is included with the purchase of a DAFF three-day festival pass or individual film screening ticket. For tickets and more information, visit

About Define American

Define American is the nation’s leading non-profit media organization that fights injustice and anti-immigrant hate through the power of storytelling. Through event curation, media consulting and creation, and grassroots organizing, Define American jumpstarts widespread culture change around citizenship, race and identity in a changing America. It was founded in 2011 by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas. For more information, visit

About the Define American Film Festival

After seeing the impact of its award-winning pro Documented (CNN) and White People (MTV), Define American launched DAFF in 2016 amid growing anti-immigrant sentiment and debate over American values during the Iowa caucuses. Since then, DAFF has visited a new city every year, including Des Moines and Charlotte just last year. DAFF uniquely brings together journalists and experts in film and activism.  DAFF is proud to have sold out 100% of its screenings, and accumulated more than a half-million views of streamed panel discussions, and over 9 million collective impressions across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

Let's Talk

Create change, one story at a time.