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 crushed in violence by the U.S. government who deployed federal troops on the city.
We almost lost Detroit in 2013 when the city became the largest municipality in the U.S. history to file for bankruptcy.
From the second half of the XXth century on, we almost lost Detroit to job losses, population decline, housing crisis, crime, poverty and many grim phenomena that you may have heard of if you have ever heard of Detroit.
But Detroit is still standing, and who actually got lost are all the people who see the city through the sole lens of its harsh history.
D3, the title of this project, is a triple pun.
D3 because I went to Detroit three times, three opportunities for me to try capturing the visual essence of a city that boasts life, talent, beauty and creativity against all odds and beyond its derelict looks.
D3, pronounced in French “D Trois”, echoes back to the original name of Fort Detroit, a city built by the French on the straight (le détroit) between Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie.
Finally, D3 is a reference to the famous game Battleship that opposes two players that must sink each other’ ships by suggesting block codes such as A2, C5 or E1.
In this respect, despite having been the target of many rockets, D3 remains unsinkable.
Below, find pictures of Detroit, a city that is the epitome of birth and rebirth on its own ashes.