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All photos © Ryan Burleson

Long Tail Effects

Artist: Ryan Burleson

Project: You Can’t Go Home Again

Description: Taken in the months following Hurricane Michael’s landfall on the Florida panhandle, Ryan Burleson’s series You Can’t Go Home Again captures with striking clarity the destruction wrought by the Category 5 storm. Describing the wreckage, Burleson writes:

Debris littered yards, parking lots, and palm-shaded avenues. Houses folded in on themselves like has-been high school quarterback drunks outside Piggly Wiggly. Blue tarps covered nearly every structure in sight, a reminder of the ongoing insurance boondoggle and contractor shortage…. and that was just the start of Michael’s long tail effects.

In photographs of flooded businesses and battered homes, Burleson concerns himself with how a community of this size rebounds from a disaster of this scale. Yet, even in the face of the damage, he finds reasons to be optimistic. “These photos hardly capture the extent of Michael’s unrepentant lashing. But they surface stark memories of the dusk that we’re capable of shedding.”


Eyes on the South is curated by Jeff Rich. The weekly series features selections of current work from Southern artists, or artists whose photography concerns the South. To submit your work to the series, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ryan Burleson

Ryan Burleson is a writer, photographer, and musician. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Pitchfork, the Boston Globe, Nashville Scene, and the FADER. Originally from Panama City, Florida, Ryan has lived in Nashville, Atlanta, Brooklyn, Malibu, and Manchester, New Hampshire. Connect with him at and @ryanburleson.