Detroit | Photographer: Ian Willms | BLACK AND WHITE |

"Detroit" is an exploration of blue collar America in the wake of globalization. The economic prosperity that came with domestic automotive manufacturing drew many hard-working Americans to Detroit and other industrial cities over the last century. As free trade facilitated the mass-outsourcing of labour, many of America's domestic manufacturing jobs evaporated. The impact this had upon working-class Americans was and continues to be devastating. 

My work in Detroit is a document of the industrial American culture that is quickly beginning to vanish. As old factories lay empty and silent, awaiting their inevitable demolition, fewer and fewer goods are manufactured locally. Free trade has not only taken jobs from the community, but it has also taken the pride away from the workers who remain. From the cars on the street to the clothes on a person's back, goods are now made elsewhere by people that we have never met. America no longer has a use for places like the Detroit, and like so many surplus labourers, the city itself has been abandoned like a broken down, old car. 

For most people, the story ends there. We take our pink slip and swallow that lump in our throat as we pack up and move away. Fortunately, the decades of back-breaking labour that built America made Detroiters into a tough breed. Those who remain in the Motor City display a remarkable level of creativity, resourcefulness and resiliency.