somewhere in between by Maranie Staab

In September 2017 Hurricane Maria, a storm with winds reaching 175 mph, hit the island territory of Puerto Rico, leaving over 3,000 people dead and destroying much of the island. Two years later Puerto Rico and its residents continue to rebuild and work to create a future that is sustainable for future generations. While Maria created new problems for the island, it also served to highlight existing, systemic ones.

During the summer of 2019, much of this came to a head when islandwide protests resulted in the resignation of Governor Rossello. Though under new leadership, the fight against corruption and the debate between independence and statehood, continues. While many young Puerto Ricans are choosing to remain just as many are leaving the island to pursue employment and life elsewhere.

In August I spent several weeks in Puerto Rico, taking in and exploring the small, yet complex island. I look forward to returning and to spending more time with the people, those neither recognized as US citizens nor as independent. To me, they seem to be in a limbo, somewhere in between.

Many of these frames were among the portfolio recent recognized by CPOY 🙏🏾