French photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre have documented the decline and decay of Detroit through its buildings and structures that were once source of civic pride (schools, churches, hotels, stations), but now “stand as monuments to the city’s fall from grace.”
Over the past decades, Detroit has suffered a post-industrial decline far worse than any other American city. The once booming city has seen its population fall from 2.5 million in the 1940s, to just over 1 million today, with 1 in 3 people unemployed.
Marchand and Meffre have published a book of their stunning and quite beautiful photographs. Each plate reveals a hidden history of Detroit, detailing an evolutionary process, where:
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.
Photography appeared to us as a modest way to keep a little bit of this ephemeral state.
More images from this collection can be viewed here.