It is official. Detroit, the birthplace of the American automobile industry, which has already been one of the United States’ most populous cities, filed for bankruptcy this week. The city’s debt is estimated at around $19 billion, making it America’s biggest municipal bankruptcy. There is not an isolated cause for this situation, but it is bound to affect many people, specially public employees and retirees, who received pension funds from the city, creating a whole of $3.5 billion that the city was not able to pay. This seemed inevitable in a city that lost half of its population since the 1960‘s and where businesses had a hard time prospering.
Detroit has thousands of abandoned buildings and crime is a real issue. In the past years, Detroit has become a ghost city. However, this has given way to incredible works of art. Photographers such as Zach Fein or Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, have photographed the city’s ruins, and these images are truly shocking. They tell the story of a city which has progressively been dying. Hopefully, if the bankruptcy goes forward, the city will be able to restructure itself and rise from the ashes.