Martha Bayne is a Chicago-based freelance journalist and associate editor of the Social Justice News Nexus program at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism. Her work has been published in the Baffler, Belt Magazine, Chicago Reader, the Chicago Reporter, the Chicago Tribune, Eater and with San Juan's Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, among other regional and national outlets.
The spooky, interactive experience uses archival audio and video, as well as original art, to trace different periods in the history of Puerto Rico, from the 16th-century Spanish colonization through the United States takeover in 1898 and, finally, Hurricane Maria.
The proposed map could potentially speed up the development of — and radically transform — popular natural landscapes and historically protected urban architecture. It was rolled out in the midst of an unprecedented political uprising, which might have doomed the proposal to obscurity. Instead, it struck a nerve.
The islands — still recovering, slowly and haltingly, from the catastrophic impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 — dodged a bullet, but the threat of a direct hit was enough to trigger the entire country into a state of anxious preparation and reflection.
As gentrification takes hold on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, many local residents find they're being priced out of living there.