Chasing Papeles, 2016. Live performance. Photo courtesy of Alessandra Mello
Chasing Papeles is a blend of storytelling about the undocumented Filipina experience that uses elements of hip hop, poetry and shadow puppetry. As both writer and director, I created a patchwork of familiar struggles from my family’s journey. The undocumented immigrant narrative is still very much unknown. Post 9/11 politics have seen a drastic rise in anti-immigrant policies, and an unprecedented number of detention and deportation in US history. Chasing Papeles aims to stand in solidarity with immigration rights movement to include the marginalized narratives of Filipinos often left out of the media. The negative stigma attached to being “undocumented” and the risk of telling this story cultivates an environment of silence and repression. My goal is to break that silence and to shed light on the shadowed experiences of Filipina migrant workers in the US.