Published: Nov. 9, 2020

Interview Highlights

  • 1:11 - Introduction and overview by Dr. Rivera
  • 4:45 - Environmental colonialism and the history of environmental justice movements in Puerto Rico as written about by Carmen Concepción.
  • 9:22 - Family knowledge and memory of repeated disasters in Puerto Rico: Dr. Rivera shares a story about her grandfather’s experience with multiple hurricanes in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, and the way it prompted migration and the expansion of the Puerto Rican diaspora.
  • 11:25 - JW asks question about disaster colonialism, and the way that ongoing colonialism operates through disasters in Puerto Rico.
  • 11:45 - DR explains disaster colonialism as a concept, along with a critique of Klein’s “disaster capitalism,” which has often been used at the expense of understanding the history of colonization and coloniality in the archipelago.
  • 15:52 - DR discusses procedural vulnerability to disaster and the need to understand it and the entrenchment of inequality from repeated poor responses to disasters.
  • 19:08 - JW asks about attempts to measure vulnerability to disasters, and the application of such measures in the context of Puerto Rico.
  • 19:55 - DR responds about vulnerability indices in Puerto Rico, and the indicators that do not make sense in the Puerto Rican context.
  • 21:44 - JW asks about how existing policies and institutions for disaster response can reinforce the idea of who is a “worthy recipient of aid” after a disaster.
  • 22:55 - DR discusses indigeneity in Puerto Rico, and the history of discrimination and erasure of Taino peoples, explaining how that shows up in expressions and understandings of race and ethnicity in Puerto Rico today.
  • 25:10 - JW asks about the history of suppression of Indigenous knowledge about weather tracking in Puerto Rico under Spanish colonization.
  • 26:15 - DR discusses the Spanish criminalization of Taino peoples’ abilities to anticipate and forecast hurricanes.
  • 30:30 - DR closes on a hopeful note about the role of artists and designers in imagining alternative environmental futures.