The pictures depict several abandoned schools in Detroit. The city’s population has declined by more than sixty percent since 1950. Making matters worse, the demand for education has fallen disproportionally.
It was the white middle class that first left, during the 1960s and 70s. The phenomenon became known as “white flight”, and one of the results was that the number of tax-payers declined disproportionally. The public sector started to disintegrate, and the quality of the education system was severely effected by the 1980s and 90s.
The results are catastrophic. Today almost half (47%) of Detroit’s population is classified as functionally illiterate, meaning that they have problems with “reading, speaking, writing and computational skills...”. The social infrastructure has broken down as the human and financial collapse intensified – several dozen schools are closed each year in the city. The situation for the remaining households is growing ever more desperate – half of the kids in the city live below the poverty line.
TEXT and PHOTOS © Jan Jörnmark
The Abyss by Jan Jörmark featured on 591 Photography
Related reading about Detroit in Guernica magazine