Today (September 20) marks five years to the day when Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. It took the lives of thousands of people (estimates are between 3,000 and 4,600) and left behind a mass of damaged infrastructure, a collapsed electricity system, and other destruction that impacted the island economically and politically.
This week, another storm, Hurricane Fiona, caused severe flooding and the loss of power to the entire island. It was a stark reminder that Puerto Rico still finds itself not fully prepared for the weather phenomenon that can affect the lives of its four million residents each year.
In an upcoming art exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, 20 artists from Puerto Rico explore how they have “responded to the transformative years since” Hurricane Maria hit their homeland in 2017.
According to the museum, no existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria is the first scholarly exhibition focused on Puerto Rican art organized by a large U.S. museum in nearly half a century.
“While Hurricane Maria serves as a focal point, the exhibition is defined by a larger context in which the aftermath of the storm was further exacerbated by the chain of events that preceded and followed this (un)natural disaster,” reads the description of the exhibition at the museum’s website.
Some of the events include: the effects of the signing of the PROMESA law, the protests from the summer of 2019, leading to the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The artists exhibiting their work in the upcoming show are Candida Alvarez, Gabriella N. Báez, Rogelio Báez Vega, Sofía Córdova, Danielle De Jesus, Frances Gallardo, Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Miguel Luciano, Javier Orfón, Elle Pérez, Gamaliel Rodríguez, Raquel Salas Rivera, Gabriela Salazar, Armig Santos, Garvin Sierra Vega, Edra Soto, Awilda Sterling-Duprey, Yiyo Tirado Rivera, Gabriella Torres-Ferrer and Lulu Varona.
no existe un mundo poshuracán is organized by Marcela Guerrero, Jennifer Rubio, Angelica Arbelaez and Sofía Silva.
The exhibition opens on November 23, 2022, and runs through April 23, 2023.