Brian Widdis and Romain Blanquart / Can’t Forget the Motor City

Posted December 10, 2011

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Brian Widdis and Romain Blanquart both live near Detroit, MI.

The global media and many visiting photographers see Detroit as an abandoned and dead city. We are shown picture after picture of our modern ruins, buildings that were once the pride of our city. What is constantly absent from these soulless images are the people. 713,000 residents still call Detroit home and their presence and unique imprint on the city motivates our project.

Can’t Forget The Motor City” is a collaborative project between Romain Blanquart and Brian Widdis. Romain works in color, focusing on the people and Brian records the landscape and surfaces in black and white.

The birth of the automobile industry brought blacks and whites to Detroit providing the hope of economic opportunity, but the reality of the American melting pot and prosperity for all was short lived. Today, Detroit is a dysfunctional city, plagued by a history of racial tension, corruption, and a shrinking tax base. Though, as in any other place, it has achieved a rhythm of normalcy. So while the future of the city is uncertain, its complicated history and present resist a one-dimensional portrayal.