Scholarly Vice

Most of you have doubtless noticed that Vice is no longer just for R-rated fashion insights and snarky social critique. Over the last year or so, their photojournalism has significantly upped the ante, drawing attention to things wholly absent from traditional news sources. This month's Vice Magazine has a heartbreaking piece in it about the state of Detroit's public schools. Though I've often mentioned my affinity for exploring spaces of urban decay and abandoned buildings, public schools are not places that qualify as romantically desolate.
Photo by James Griffieon for Vice Magazine

James Griffieon, the author, frames his photos of decaying classrooms and abandoned art supplies within the larger narrative of Detroit's tragic modern history: white flight that has depleted the urban tax base and pervasive bureaucratic corruption and contracts that defy logic. The combination has produced a grim landscape for the city's school system, leaving half the city's residents illiterate and undermining any chance for urban renewal. Griffieon's brief introduction opens the curtain for his telling photos, the young victims of failed urbanism in Detroit and its sad stuff.
Photo by James Griffieon for Vice Magazine

Check out the article and some of the commentary. There's some real crazy racist bull being slung about who's to blame, though little of it very thoughtful. It's obviously a multifaceted issue, spun together over the last fifty years by the course of history as orchestrated by some very powerful people. Reading the book Middlesex a couple of years ago first opened my eyes about the tumultuous course of history in that very American motor city, and this article further feeds that interest. And weigh in! The commentary could use some more thoughtful, well-balanced response.

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