Detroit’s Destruction

These images defy understanding. I can’t quite wrap my head around the way these buildings have been left just as they were used, not packed up or dismantled or torn down. Do they have so little value for the community? Or is the community so beyond the niceties of popular, contemporary, Western understandings of what is important – ie. heritage, a pastime for the rich and idle – that they can’t value these buildings. Buildings, which after all don’t provide food, jobs, medical care; the things a community must have confidence in in order to spend time on the preservation of the past.

They make me feel lucky to be in a community that can spend its time and money on history and heritage.

The images were taken by two French photographers, Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre who visited Detroit between 2005 and 2009 and took this series of images.

Cumulatively, the photographs are a powerful and disturbing testament to the glory and the destructive cost of American capitalism: the centre of a once-thriving metropolis in the most powerful nation on earth has become a ghost town of decaying buildings and streets. – The Guardian, 2 Jan 2011

See a selection of images here.You can buy the book and read more here.


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