In September 2017, Hurricane Irma devastated the tiny Caribbean island of Barbuda. Following this, the Prime Minister, Gaston Browne sought to revoke Barbuda’s centuries-old system of communal land rights and build luxury hotels for mass tourism. This was met with collective resistance from Barbudans who refused to leave and argued that Browne wants to exploit and profit from their land.

In January 2019, photographer Tamzin Forster and I visited Barbuda. Below are portraits of some of the people we spoke to, alongside quotes about their experiences of disaster recovery, and their alternative visions for the future of the island. The photographs were exhibited at the Royal Geographical Society in 2019, and The People’s History Museum in 2020.

Contact Tamzin

Tamzin Forster is a freelance photographer based in Manchester. Check out her website and instagram.

Read more about Barbuda

Sou, G. ‘Resisting disaster capitalism in Barbuda. The New Internationalist Jan/Feb 2020 Issue, pages 60-61,

Sou, G. Barbudans are resisting “disaster capitalism”, two years after Hurricane Irma. The Conversation, U.K. 2019;

Sou, G. How to tell the stories of those worst affected by a disaster likeHurricane Irma. The Conversation, London, U.K. 2017;

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