Through ‘The Ruins of Detroit‘, French photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre explore the history of Detroit, its consanguine association with the notion of progress through the automotive industry and its current state of postindustrial decline. Detroit in essence is a magnifying loop of what once was and possibly awaits America. Having been several times in Detroit, I am fascinated by the the footprints of industrial backlash, the notion of shrinking cities (Detroit’s downtown shrank from 1 m inhabitants at its peak in the 20’s to a mere 100.000 nowadays), no man’s land areas, urban cemeteries, low density spaces and how inhabitants move away when jobs are gone, how the nature takes its revenge when spaces are vacated. Detroit is a fascinating story. Detroit is a romantic story: the romanticism of urban ruins, a postindustrial phenomenon akin to the revival of antique ruins in the xix century.
The Ruins of Detroit is a photobook published by Steidl Verlag, now in its 3rd edition. It is available at Urban Spree in Berlin or online in our bookstore here.