4. Fuzzy Flora

Fuzzy Flora

Adnelly Marichal

The day after the hurricane hit Puerto Rico, I went out with my dad to try and find a bucket for our mop. The storm was over, but my parent’s home would slowly continue to flood for weeks to come — the ground saturated to such excess that the water crept through the walls and floor. What I saw on that first drive to town still makes me feel like crying. It looked like Connecticut in the winter, a sea of battered, leafless trees, an ocean of brown that was usually only green.

Months later the island’s recovery was slowly moving forward — the leaves were back and everywhere you looked was a familiar expanse of brilliant green. During those months I came across a local photo store tearing out their severely water-damaged walls, cabinets, and display cases. It all sat in a small mountain outside and included boxes of water-logged, expired film destined for a landfill. I took as much as I could hold.

September 2019 marks two years since Hurricane Maria, and around the island, the outward signs of devastation have begun to fade. These photographs, taken withthe film I collected, continue to display the physical traces of the storm; its unpredictable nature an apt medium to document the fuzzy things that have grown back.