In July 2013, the city of Detroit became the largest US city to file for bankruptcy although its economic decline began a long time before. Images of Detroit`s urban decay are becoming well known and much admired.
This statement accompanied the stunning images of Detroit in decline, including the one above, by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre
“Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies
and their changes, small pieces of history in suspension.
The state of ruin is essentially a temporary situation that happens at
some point, the volatile result of change of era and the fall of empires.
This fragility, the time elapsed but even so running fast, lead us to watch them one very last time : being dismayed, or admire, making us wondering about the permanence of things.”
But what of the people who are left behind?
Not everyone wants to or is even able to leave the city. But as the city declines economically, the services on which people were dependent also start to disappear including places where you can buy cheap fresh food. Where once there might have been six or seven grocery stores in a neighbourhood selling good quality produce, there is now a `food desert`. This means people have to travel further in order to buy affordable good quality fresh food but transport is limited and again not everyone can afford a car. This is a problem that particularly affects Detroit`s black community. Approximately 82% of Detroit`s population is African American. In this video interview with Malik Yakini, learn how the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network are making history by growing food and at the same time sowing the seeds of change.
“We’re not interested in plans where the corporate sector comes in and uses the majority of the population as workers. We’re concerned about control and ownership. We want to model not only the growing techniques but model the kind of social and political economic dynamic that we think are appropriate for a city like Detroit” Malik Yakini, chairman of the network.