Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre exhibited their photos of Detroit in London. Some really great photos of a derelict city which once was the greatest industrial city in the world.

Detroit: My Next Destination?

I cannot wait to see this city. In my teenage years I used to dream of visiting the ancient Rome abandoned, empty and in ruins. I used to dream of walking the streets of a once great city, the capital of an empire – now destroyed. Now I am one step closer to this dream becoming reality because I met Marchand and Meffre and they have given some advice on what to do when I visit.

Detroit’s Demise

Detroit is a great example of demise and economic collapse. I imagine Rome must have looked the same 50 or 100 years after its million citizens fled the city. They left everything behind running away from the nomads – buildings and culture to decay.

I am planning a trip this year or next to Detroit. I will fly to Chicago with BA, then drive all the way to New York through Detroit and Cleveland. Meffre and Marchand shot their photos using a Chinese camera, which is a bit ironic when you think how much China contributed to the city’s collapse.

Chilling Sensation

It gave me a bit of a chill seeing the schools, police stations, hospitals, theatres and everything else you can think of abandoned, with artefacts left in place. Books on shelves, toys on the floor and tools left lying around. Imagine London, with its 8 million citizens ending up like that. No transport, no shops, no hospitals nor schools. Nothing.

This is something that is not impossible. With our total reliance on fossil fuels and cars what are we going to do when petrol becomes unaffordable or scarce? How will massive shopping malls stock up? Hospitals – how are they going to get medication? Will you be able to do the school run 10-20 miles from your home? Or the regular shopping trip to the mall? I guess not…