top of page

Esther Dimalanta
Artwork Theme

The artist chose a theme that alludes to children’s games and toys because many of the experiences of undocumented migrants reflect the arduous mental and emotional games the Canadian Immigration system, as well as the Social Services sector puts them through. There are many barriers, hoops, and ladders non-status individuals have to undergo for a fraction of a chance to get “status” in Canada.
Most games, however, have an ending where the players reign victorious. The Intention behind these pieces is to encourage community members to support and continue to build solidarity with non-status individuals. We must commit to join the fight for regularization


The most poignant part of Ruby’s story that struck the artist was Ruby’s need to protect her son from the realities of being undocumented. The center point of this piece is a pair of hands covering a boy’s eyes. The gameboard journeys us through Ruby’s story and experiences in trying to secure her and her family’s status in Canada.


Joselyn spoke about both negative and positive experiences here in Canada. These experiences are represented in a game of snakes and ladders. Some of the positive experiences are connected by ladders which “rises” them to a safer and more ideal place. For instance, Joselyn spoke about an understanding landlord which provided her and her family a safe home. Another ladder is between a park and Heritage Days, which Joselyn shared felt like safe spaces. On the other hand, the snakes are negative experiences that placed even more barriers in Joselyn’s path. For example, deceptive job offers placed Joselyn and her family in a precarious and unsafe situation here in Canada.


Noemi is a highschool student and her illustration is a puzzle which represents her past and present experiences, as well as her future dreams. As a high school student, there are many things happening as we create new memories and begin to forge our identities. Noemi shared some of the core experiences she had before moving to and while living in Canada and the puzzle pieces come together to symbolize what has shaped her.


Ben is shown as an action figure of a carpenter or labourer in its packaging. The artist was struck by how employers willingly exploit and take advantage of the labour of those who are undocumented. Especially because undocumented labourers have no employment protection and are unable to speak about any unjust workplace conditions.

Ben_Poster_Final (1).png
Don't have statusRuby
00:00 / 00:22

Clips from the interview

Hopeful migranteRuby
00:00 / 00:18
Son not knowing statusRuby
00:00 / 00:34

Clips from the interview

00:00 / 00:14
Deducting taxBen
00:00 / 00:28
Work 12-14 hoursBen
00:00 / 00:23
Heritage festJoselyn
00:00 / 00:12
00:00 / 00:19
School asks for study permitJoselyn
00:00 / 00:18
Unsafe at workJoselyn
00:00 / 00:13

Clips from the interview

Clip from the interview

Unsafe back homeNoemi
00:00 / 00:17
Hopeful dreams for futureNoemi
00:00 / 00:24
Fears about being followedNoemi
00:00 / 00:15
Losing statusNoemi
00:00 / 00:23
Full interview SpanishNoemi
00:00 / 15:18
Full interview EnglishNoemi
00:00 / 11:38
Full interview SpanishJoselyn
00:00 / 17:36
bottom of page