Two days before hurricane Maria it was Kenisha’s 9th birthday. There were no birthday presents. Instead, there was fear. A hurricane was coming, but no one knew how strong it was going to be. The eye of the hurricane passed right over Dominica during the night of 18 September 2017. The morning after Kenisha’s life would never be the same.
On the other side of the world I was waiting for news about the hurricane. For a week there was no news and only silence. The first messages about the damage came from the Prime Minister Skerrit Roosevelt, who revealed that the island was completely destroyed. Setting foot on Dominica 3 months later I discovered this was nothing less than the truth.
Hurricane Maria left traces of both physical and emotional damage. The short documentary tells the story of Kenisha (9) and Athalie (36). The night of the hurricane is relived through their eyes. For both of them it was the very first time they experienced a hurricane as devastating as Maria. Athalie, one of the main figures in the village, tells how children in the village like Kenisha have been traumatized by the event. Moreover, how do they stay motivated with the next hurricane season already around the corner?
The short documentary was produced as part of the Short Documentary Film course by World Press Photo, NOOR Images and the Danish School of Media and Journalism (DJMX). The project was supervised by Pep Bonet, award-winning filmmaker and photographer and member of NOOR Images, and Henrik Kastenskov, founder of Bombay Flying Club and teacher at DJMX.
Special thanks to the Pongovi Foundation in Dominica. This video was produced by Elsemieke de Boer.