Throughout 2017 and 2018 I investigated how low-income families in Puerto Rico recovered from Hurricane Maria. Alongside the brilliant illustrator, John Cei Douglas, we turned this research into a comic, FREE to download in English and Spanish. The family in the comic is fictionalised, but their story reflects common experiences of the families I spoke to in Puerto Rico.

Teaching and Workshop Resource

The comic speaks to many themes including representations of “developing” country contexts, gender, inequality, resilience, poverty, vulnerabilities, disasters and identities.

Discover the subtle social, cultural, economic and psychological impacts of disasters that go under the radar of the international news media; and why people experience disasters differently – based on gender, age, and race. The story highlights what recovery means for disaster-affected people – is it simply repairing a damaged roof, or does it also include recovering a person’s sense of home?

Done footage of Ingenio, three weeks after Hurricane Maria
Inside a damaged Ingenio house, three weeks after Hurricane Maria

Contact John Cei Douglas

John is a freelance illustrator based in London. Check out his website and instagram.

Sou, G. (2021). Reframing resilience as resistance: situating disaster recovery within colonialism. The Geographical Journal.

Sou, G., Shaw., D., and González, F. A. (2021) A multidimensional framework for disaster recovery: Longitudinal qualitative evidence from Puerto Rican households. World Development.

Sou, G., and Hall, S.M. (2021) Communicating crisis research with comics: Representation, process and pedagogy. In Kara, H (ed). Research methods in times of crisis. Palgrave.

Featured in Illustrating Anthropology.Exhibition. Royal Anthropological Institute, U.K. 2020;

Featured in the Guardian UK Newspaper, 2019.

Interview, How do graphic novels help understanding of natural disaster?. Ask the Geographer Podcast. Royal Geographical Society, London, U.K. 2019;

Sou, G. Four reasons to graphically illustrate your research. London School of Economics, Impact Blog, 2019.

Sou, G., and Webber, R. Disruption and recovery of intangible resources during environmental crises: Longitudinal research on ‘home’ in post-disaster Puerto Rico. Geoforum. 106, 182-192. 2019.

Featured at Bluedot Music Festival, Manchester, U.K; “After Maria” (graphic novella) Interactive Multimedia display.2019.

Featured in ‘Broken Frontier: Exploring the Comics Universe’, After Maria – Putting the GRAPHIC in ETHNOGRAPHIC, London, U.K. 2019;

Spotlight in The University of Manchester Magazine. “After Maria“, 2019.

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