Detour in Detroit is a collection of encounters with a variety of people who are building Detroit's present and imagining its future.
Laila Alhusini, Jeff Aronoff, Fouad Ashkar, Greg Baise, Kyle Bartell, Grace Lee Boggs, Patricia Burnett, Olayami Dabls, Dominick DeBellis, Sergio De Giusti, Jon Dones, Geoffrey and Eileen Drutchas, Richard Feldman, Jason Fiedler, Emi Fontana, Geoff George, Bruce Giffin, Giorgio Gikas, Scott Hocking, Pinky Jones, Amy Kahrel, Richard Kik IV, John King, Emily and Andy Linn, Cary Loren, Ash Nowak, Derrick May, Ruben Mazzoleni, Charles Molnar, Dan Pitera, Stephanie Selvaggio, Yusef Shakur, Bruce Schwartz, Veronika Scott, Pierette Simpson, Leni Sinclair, Hector Sossi, Matthew Steiner, Jessica Swanger, Alyssa Trimmer, Cosima Werner.
The book opens with a map of Detroit and a legend which is also the table of contents: each chapter is linked to a specific place in the city.
The introduction, printed on orange paper, contains information which will help the reader to better understand the project and enter into the stories of those who live there.
The central part of the book is composed of 17 chapters, each one dedicated to a different aspect of the city and to different people. The b/w photographs that accompany the text, taken by the artist Antonio Rovaldi, appear in short sequences so that they develop their own narrative. Four chapters also feature photos taken by their protagonists. The location of the places mentioned in the text is indicated in the margin so that the reader can track the stories and map out his/her own personal itinerary.
The book concludes with a series of 32 color images by Antonio Rovaldi.
from the introduction (It's Like a Caterpillar Becoming a Butterfly)
Dan Pitera: A book on Detroit?
Francesca Berardi: Yes. A book that talks about the city through encounters with people who live here.
People I looked for or that I found by chance. Each one represents a different aspect of Detroit for me. It seemed to me the only way to talk about a place in a phase of such profound change. I invited an artist to work with me, Antonio Rovaldi, asking him to handle the photographic part. In fact, we’ve created two levels of narration: one written and one illustrated.
Dan: And how come you decided to do it?
Francesca: Out of love. From the first moment, I found something in Detroit that intrigued me and attracted me in a huge way. There was also something that scared me, and it’s still there somehow, to tell the truth. It’s a kind of landscape I wasn’t used to, and in order to really see anything I had to stop and train my gaze.
This book aims to be an invitation to look at Detroit beyond its heavily photographed ruins. They’re fascinating, without a doubt, but they’re part of a landscape in which a great deal else is happening and has happened.
Dan: It’ll be a sort of guide?
Francesca: No, not really. A really great and detailed guide already exists: Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider’s Guide to Detroit by the Linn siblings,surely you know it. A bible. I’d never be able to do that. Our work is different, more something to accompany you on your discovery. It’s a long conversation with people who know Detroit well. In its uniqueness, but also its normality. We name a lot of places, but they’re internal to the stories. The map will be based on personal itineraries that emerge from our encounters. Also because mapping places in Detroit is strange, it’s like a constellation of points and trajectories that grows according to new, unwritten rules.