Feliz Viaje is a book created to tell the story of an undocumented immigrant coming to the US from Mexico seeking asylum. The pages of the book are scanned images of the asylum application for entering the US as an asylum seeker. Throughout the book, the pages get more distorted to represent the messy and complicated process of applying for citizenship. Each page contains a frame from a short documentary about a man attempting to cross the border. The size of the book is the US passport size: This gives the book the feel of a travel document or something that can easily be stashed in a pocket. It also references identity in the balance.
The foundation of the structure of the book is the United States Asylum application which can only be found online in English. These pages have been printed and scanned to create different layers of removal to begin to show the complex and impersonal structure of the United States Immigration System. The book is divided into 4 sections. A, B, C, and D. These sections are divided according to the different sections of the Asylum application.
Each page of each section represents one box to fill out in each section of the asylum application. The page numbers become the numbers of the boxes in the asylum application. Each section starts over at 1. There are 90 pages total representing the 90 different boxes to fill out in the asylum application.
The structure of the asylum application is aligned with the timeline of a short film about a man’s story of attempting to enter the US as an asylum seeker. All of the images that appear throughout the book are screenshots taken from this film. They appear in chronological order as they would if the film was split up frame by frame. Each page of the book is representative of 3 seconds of the film.
In the 4th and last section of the book, the asylum application and video frames are completely distorted and unrecognizable. This represents the complexity of the asylum process as well as the fact that in the end, it didn't work for this specific asylum seeker whose story is represented in the pages of this book.
Highway Gothic is the typeface used for all type (besides the asylum application and any quotes). This typeface is used on highway signs in Mexico and near the border of the US and Mexico. This represents the journey that asylum seekers take to attempt to enter the United States and achieve asylum status.