“La paloma y la ley” (“The Dove and the Law”), follows two women, Marta and Liset, who left Cuba in May 2016 with no plan, just the name of a coyote — a human smuggler — scribbled on a piece of paper, and a dream to make it to the U.S. They hoped to arrive before the imminent end of “wet foot, dry foot,” a policy that fast-tracked Cubans to asylum and permanent residency.
Photojournalist Lisette Poole followed along on 51 days of this journey through 13 countries, across 10 borders and six days in the Darien Gap — a roadless stretch of jungle between Colombia and Panama. She posed as a migrant and photographed in several formats including a smartphone, 35mm film and a GoPro. Poole has continued documenting Marta and Liset’s new lives in the United States in the three years since she made the journey with them.
Migration is one of the critical issues of our times, but the stories told are often hyperdramatized, oversimplified and rarely personal or intimate. “La paloma y la ley” upends these superficial narratives with one of the most comprehensive accounts of migration ever published. The book renders the journey in all its danger, complexity and humanity. (Red Hook Editions)