Detroit is a scary city as evidenced by these incredible images by 7 contemporary photographers. Mitch Cope has put together a masterpiece, a set of photographs of the city that capture the hopelessness and devastation in a way that 1000 newspaper and magazine articles never could. In some of these pictures, Detroit looks almost like a movie set for a post-apocalyptic world right out of the science fiction genre.
The Detroit metro area has been in decline for decades as auto manufacturing and it’s related industries have vanished. With this year’s deathblow to Chrysler and GM, things have deteriorated at an accelerated pace.
It’s sad to remember that some of the greatest technological innovations in American history came from this once-proud city, the former manufacturing mecca of the world. Now, the city doesn’t even have any produce-carrying supermarkets, making it a Food Desert according to the New York Times.
It’s also amazing to think of Detroit’s musical contribution to American culture, from the earth-shattering hit machine that was Motown Records in the 60’s to the Detroit Rock City era of Ted Nugent and Kiss in the 70’s, to this decade’s mega-stars like Eminem, Kid Rock and The White Stripes.
The new HBO series Hung uses the city as both backdrop and metaphor for the deterioration of it’s protagonist’s life. The main character is a high school history teacher who loses his financial independence due to an adjustable rate mortgage, then loses his house to a fire (no insurance). His wife and kids have left as well, leaving him an empty shell who can’t understand why his generation’s standard of living is worse than his parents’ was.
As of the end of July 2009, Detroit has the highest unemployment rate of any large city in the US. The number stands at 17%, an incredible statistic even in the context of the Great Recession that is affecting the rest of the nation. Detroit has almost double the unemployment rate of the rest of the country.
“We’ve seen continued deterioration in the entire state of Michigan,” said Ken LeVasseur, a senior economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The entire state did not come out of the 2001 recession.”
Detroit Book of Love (MitchCope.com) – be sure to visit this site to see the whole incredible gallery, the pics above are just the tip of the iceberg.