Hadiya Sewer | Post-Irma/Maria U.S. Territories

Hadiya Sewer in Cuba, 2017
Photo: Cooper Penn

Disaster Capitalism in the U.S. Territories

Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were hit hard by hurricanes Irma and Maria. The two category five storms arrived within two weeks of each other, complicating relief efforts. To make matters even worse, the current U.S. president seems to lack even the most basic knowledge of these Caribbean islands, much less the efficiency and effectiveness required to rebuild infrastructure and restore basic services to its citizens. Adding insult to injury, the president tweeted about Puerto Rico’s Wall Street obligations, played golf, and delayed taking urgent action while people were dying.

In some ways I’m literally more afraid of the re-development process

We’re colonized but we don’t really speak about the United States as a colonizer on a day-to-day basis. We obviously need this help and this aid in the aftermath of Irma and Maria. So how do we tend to negotiate some of these questions of meeting our basic needs while aslo clearly parsing out how exactly we are being disposessed by the very aid that we need

In this interview Hadiya Sewer talks about the importance of mental health in the face of adversity, power relationships in parenting and empires, and the question of how to dismantle the strucural racism of American colonialism while taking care of the more pressing needs of rebuilding.

Fare of the Free Child Podcast
Bill Moyers Interview with Yarimar Bonilla
Unsettling the Colonality of American Power in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Notes on Being a Demonic Black Radical Feminist Kiljoy by Hadiya Sewer (Mocko)
Hadiya Sewer at Bajo el Sol Gallery, St. John (April, 2017)
What it’s really like on the ground in Puerto Rico

Tim Duncan
My Brothers Workshop
University of the Virgin Islands
St. John Community Foundation


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Jason Klarl
Travel Media Producer at Travelogue Media
Jason is the host and producer of the Travelogue Media podcast, and author of Travelogue: 2015 Yearbook. He grew up in Colorado with a passion for music, photography, and filmmaking. He completed an Associates of Applied Science degree from the Art Institute of Colorado and studied at the Center for Documentary Studies in Durham, North Carolina. He's currently living in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
Twitter: @mediadesign77
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