Vacant shops on Broadway in former central business district, Gary, Indiana, 2002
Studying the lingering effects of deindustrialization, racial segregation, and white flight over the past decade has shown me another America. When my wife and I first drove into Gary and Detroit we couldn’t believe that we were still in the United States. The level of distress in these places and the sheer number of abandoned buildings were awe-inspiring physical evidence of a greater malaise. As we toured these cities, which called to mind a bombed-out Beirut more than the prepackaged images of American abundance projected by the media to the rest of the world, I felt sensitized. With many parts of the United States looking no better than the scenes of poverty during the Great Depression, a growing awareness came into the making of my work- and with it a desire to take photographs that bore witness to issues of inequality and economic injustice, as expressed through architecture and pictures of place.