Canary in the Gold Mine

Canary in the Gold Mine: Multimedia Series

From 2000 to 2023, approximately 200 public schools were permanently closed within the city of Detroit, the majority of which were closed by the state of Michigan during an unprecedented period of financial oversight. The schools were closed as a result of budget cuts to pay back high-interest loans entered into by the state, and declining enrollment, brought on by unemployment and home foreclosures. This resulted in the interruption and displacement of tens of thousands of school-aged children. During the same period, the city of Detroit, granted billions of dollars of tax breaks to developers. Much of these also occurred primarily under the oversight of the state. Canary in the Gold Mine consists of images taken between 2014-2018, during which I photographed approximately 2/3 of the closed schools. It also features pictures of people and places that received tax abatements. Displayed with the series are interviews with several individuals impacted by the school closings.

Film stills from interviews


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