Location: Flint, MI, United States
For the last 6 years I have been working in Flint, MI on an ongoing project titled “Flint is a place”. The project is an immersive dive into a city that is more layered, nuanced and important than how it’s commonly portrayed. The work I am sharing here tells the story of a community living on the fringe. After 40 years of economic struggle, Flint is a place where the abnormal has become normal.
Flint is a town long infamous for poverty and crime and now the ongoing Water Crisis that has plagued the residents for the last four years. Everyone knows what to expect when they hear the name “Flint”. Economic, political and social dysfunction. Flint is a place of struggle. It’s true. But that’s not all it is.
The images in this project look directly at the citizens that are still in Flint, trying to make things work. While the world continues to see Flint has a statistic, the people there are resilient and abandoned, and the goal of the work is to create a bridge between the viewer and these people in a unique and intimate way. There’s something unbelievable and surreal about a place of 100,000 people snarled in this much drama.
“Flint is a place” is comprised of portraiture, found photos and reportage and is punctuated by the intimate conversations I've had over the years with the residents. The goal of the project is to create a more dynamic and complicated portrait of a community that has been consistently seen in only one light.
Flint is at the frontline of so many important themes in America. Poverty. Race. Infrastructure. Education. Crime. Corporate Greed. Unemployment. Flint is the ultimate canary in the coal mine. The American dream turned into the American nightmare. What happens in Flint happens in many other urban American cities but in Flint, it happens all at once. It’s what makes this city so important in the national conversation and it’s the reason to continue to document what is happening there.
Collective or Agency VII Agency