Detroit is the biggest city of Michigan, founded at 1701 by Sieur Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, who wanted to realize his New France dream. No-one would have known what kind of future lies ahead of this city.
For years, Detroit was always in top three on USA when it comes to crime rates. Today, it still is a cosmopolitan city, Afro-American people constitutes the majority of the city. The photographs found by two Italian photographers Arianna Arcara and Luca Santese, proves that. The book, Found Photos in Detroit shows almost only Afro-American people, except some group photos.
Found Photos in Detroit illuminates though days of Detroit and also is an important work of documentary books.
Arianna Arcara and Luca Santese answered our questions.
The book has different layers of reading but first of all, it was important for us was to make clear that we didn’t took those pictures and that they are found photos.
This is why the cover is so clean and has neither our names or others information.
We like the idea that the cover gets dirty easily.”
*I really would love to know more about both of you.
Luca and I, we met in high school and in 2008 we co-founded, with the other members, the photographic collective CESURALAB.
Initially united in the intention to live on photography, for all the members was a natural consequence to join forces in one direction: the creation of an independent collective capable of producing photo projects.
The photographers work daily abreast, constructing a cohesion that allows, thanks to skill sharing and constructive criticism, artistic growth for every member.
*How did you come up with the idea of making a such project like Found Photos in Detroit?
We made two different trip in Detroit, the first one was August 2009 and the second was January/February 2010 for a total of six weeks of work.
We were working on the economic crisis in USA. Our goal was to make a photographic project about the city.
Then we started to find this images while we where around the city doing our work.
Soon as we have seen part of the found photos we fell in love, we thought we could do a better job working on this material that was actually taken from the people that lived that town during the fall of the city, instead of taking pictures of the aftermath of the crisis.
The archive is from the 1960/70′s to the 90′s.
*What was your main goal to prepare this project?
Our aim was to work on the found material as an archive, both the exhibition and the book is prepared on this concept.
The point for us was to establish that this is an archive (for this we maintain the original size of the photos), but at the same time we wanted to give the feeling of the city so, most at the end of the book, we changed the size of some images to help this feeling.
*Do you remember the first photograph you’ve found?
Yes, it was a polaroid of a face.
*According to you, which is the most important and unique piece of the project?
After working for so long on all the archive we started to have some favorite and to feel some affection for some series or picture but, for sure, we do not really have a most important or unique piece.
*How did people react once your work is done and published?
We were happy with the general reactions, but to self publish a book its really a full time job! You really need to take care of everything like production, promotion, festivals, sellers, shipping etc.
*Any upcoming projects?
We really are stocked with the promotion of the book but as a collective we are working on a project about Italy.