Photographs from Detroit: Survival, renewal and urban farming
“I like to believe that we [are] holding this place together,” says Kadiri Sennefer, Detroit resident and a farm manager at D-Town Farm.
Oct 24, 2013
Erica Yoon visited Detroit in October 2012 to investigate urban gardening initiatives for a project as a graduate student in photojournalism at Ohio University. The idea of urban farms popping up amid the chaos in Detroit seemed to be a great way to visualize how people were attempting to weather the economic storm there. She spent ten days meeting people, photographing and trying to parse what she’d read about Detroit from what she was hearing from people on the ground.
“I realized early on that I couldn’t just focus on the process of urban gardening anymore,” writes Yoon. “Urban gardening alone was not going to fix the problems of the economically strained in Detroit. But instead, it became much more about all of the different people and communities who were working towards this momentum of change. ”
In July 2013, Detroit became the largest city to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in U.S. history- the culmination of decades of manufacturing decline, population loss and government corruption. In that context, Yoon hopes that her photographs can help change the conversation from despair to resilience. Since her initial visit to Detroit last year, she has returned several times and is continuing to photograph and conduct interviews.