In late October 2012, the United States experienced Hurricane Sandy. This traumatic experience left 285 people dead and caused $62 billion in damage. To explore the surreal aftermath of this tragic event, photographer Michael Marcelle established Kokomo, a photography project that follows a family’s journey to recovery. The project will soon be accessible as a photobook.
Before Kokomo, Marcelle had been working on a photography series centered around the people of his hometown in New Jersey. But the hurricane influenced a turn in Marcelle’s work. With an aim to produce work that is more personal in nature, Marcelle captured photos about family, home, mortality and the loss caused by the hurricane. “I wanted to do it in a way that I wasn't just doing a description of the destruction, I wanted to talk about the psychological aspect of the trauma,” Marcelle told Vice.
Kokomo aims to tell personal stories with reference to the hurricane while also drawing inspiration from aesthetics of 1980s horror films. For Marcelle, it's not mainly about the hurricane but how he experienced it. The book is meant to be a small, intimate format that acts as an entry point to the work and enhances the story in the photographs.
Kokomo has been launched on kickstarter to gain financial support. The book will also feature never-before-seen photographs and essays penned by special contributors. It will be released in May 2017.