Maybe I'll See You There
The national news is full of stories about the revitalization of Detroit, but while these generally paint an optimistic portrait of a city on the rise, many neighborhoods and residents still feel like they are being left out. With the 50th anniversary of the Detroit Riots getting closer (July 23rd, 1967), my work focuses on the lives and stories of people still living in “old Detroit” – those who have yet to feel the ripple effects of downtown development, and who fear they never will.
My work documents the aftermath of Detroit's decline and its ever-changing future. There is a resurgence of hope that Detroit can promise a better life for people – if they can afford it. New commercial developments spark hopes of progress, but they also overshadow the city's history – such as old communities like Black Bottom that have all but disappeared – glossing over it with a fresh coat of paint while overlooking the locals who are still enduring what seems like a never-ending past: poverty, uneven job prospects, poor school systems, high crime and evictions.
After going through some of the worst riots in U.S. history and now coming out of bankruptcy, I explore the parts of Detroit that feel they are beyond the orbit of the city’s ongoing transition. Using the desolate cityscape as the backdrop, I wander through this landscape either by foot or in a car, searching for a past that’s creeping along with the present. By creating a narrative that is sincere to everyday life in Detroit, I hope to capture the people and moments that are at risk of being buried by burgeoning developments and an influx of new city dwellers.