Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
I don’t know why this series of photographs hit me so profoundly this morning. (I’m linking to them rather than showing any here; copyright, don’tcha know.) They show a variety of interiors and exteriors from Detroit, in all its decrepit glory. Viewing them is like getting a glimpse of Babylon before it was reclaimed by sand.
The pictures are from a book called The Ruins of Detroit, by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre. Don’t bother looking for it on Amazon. Used and new copies are available for $397!
The photographers set out to document the transitional state of a major American city, and the results are more than haunting. If you think that anything as grand as a city is relatively permanent, consider that it has taken only about fifty years for Detroit to fall from one of the most important urban centers in the country to a hollowed-out shell.
I look at these images and I see my own hometown of St. Louis, where some of the same phenomena have been taking place over the decades. White flight, suburban sprawl, failed social policies, and willful indifference have all contributed to the decay. I only hope that cities like St. Louis can look at Detroit as a warning and make the necessary changes sooner than later.
But beyond the sociological themes here, these photographs are also stunningly beautiful. Have a look.