In 1975, Gil Scott-Heron sang We Almost Lost Detroit, an ode to the partial nuclear meltdown that could have swept the city away ten years before, in 1966.
It was not the first time we almost lost Detroit.
We almost lost Detroit in 1943 and 1967, two episodes of racial riots that were violently crushed by the U.S. government who deployed federal troops on the city.
We almost lost Detroit in 2013 when the city of Detroit became the largest municipality in the U.S. history to file for bankruptcy.
From the second half of the XXth century, we almost lost Detroit in job losses, population decline, housing crisis, crime, poverty and many grim phenomena that you may have heard if you have ever heard about Detroit.
But Detroit is still standing, and what actually got lost is all the people who only see the city through the lens of its harsh history.
D3, the title of this gallery, is a triple pun.
D3, pronounced in French “D Trois”, sounds like the original name of Fort Detroit, a city built by the French on the straight (le détroit) between Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie.
D3 is also a reference to the famous game Battleship that opposes two players who must sink each other’s ships by suggesting block codes like A2, C5 or E1.
In Battleship, and in History, D3 has been the target of many rockets.
But Detroit, located on D3, is unsinkable.
Finally, D3 because it took me three stays in ‘the D’ to capture what I believe is the true essence of this amazing city, a city that boasts life, talent, beauty and creativity.
Below, find pictures of Detroit, a city that is the epitome of birth and rebirth on its own ashes.