Editor's Pick

Detroit Lost And Found: Vintage Photos Speak Volumes

  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab
  • These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Hide caption
    These photos from the 1960s-1990s were found by two Italian photographers while working in Detroit.
    Cesuralab

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In 2009, Italian photographers Arianna Arcara and Luca Santese were on assignment in Detroit to document the U.S. economic crisis. While wandering around the city, they kept coming across old photos. They gathered about 1,500 over the course of two trips and, writes Arcara via email, "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 in that town ... instead of taking pictures of the aftermath of the crisis."

And so they compiled about 200 of those photos in a book, Found Photos in Detroit. "Most of the photos are probably from a police station," Arcara explains, "but the book is not about an archive of the Detroit Police Department."

With little-to-no context, there's not much you can do but wonder: about the little boy with the marks on his body, the threatening notes, the water-damage, the little bits of evidence left behind to tell the story of a city and of those who live there.

In Arcara's words, the photos "speak for themselves, without the need to fill them with other meaning."

Hat tip to KPCC

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