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Posted inArt

Populating the Empty Spaces of Detroit

What’s most often missing from pictures of Detroit are people. They don’t quite work in the landscape of ruin porn, enamored as it of empty, decaying spaces that seem beautiful precisely because they’re devoid of the life they once had. Showing people would suggest that Detroit is more than just a string of abandoned tableaux waiting to be photographed by the next person passing through.

Posted inArt

Detroit Is Not a Utopia

I don’t actively seek out photographs and films documenting Detroit’s decay. Detroit ruin porn could be cast as a useful reminder that no city is invincible, but in recent years the sheer quantity of photographs coming out of Detroit hasn’t felt remotely empowering. The images of the destruction are sad and offer no sense of a desire to change the problem, or suggestions for how that could even be done. However, I wanted to give the new documentary Detropia, made by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, the creators of the bone-chilling documentary Jesus Camp, a chance. I figured if anyone could investigate and show a Detroit outsider what it means to be in Detroit, it would be them.

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