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True Colors - Divided Loyalties in Puerto Rico

Amy Toensing

Created: 2003

Dresses festoon a clothesline in Utuado, a lush mountainous region in central Puerto Rico.


While driving through the lush mountains early one morning Amy Toensing found this freshly washed formal wear. "I saw these little dresses hanging on a clothesline. I just had to stop the car. There was something about those colors that really said 'Puerto Rico' to me."

Though it is a beautiful image with a delicate mood evoked by the mist and soft light bathing the dresses, the photograph was ultimately not selected for publication. The story was a look at Puerto Rico 50 years after it became a de facto colony of the United States. "Every photograph we use has to help tell the story. This picture is beautiful, but there weren't enough juicy facts behind it to hold that large a space,” remembers photo editor Susan Welchman.