Noah Stephens, the fellow behind The People of Detroit, a photo documentary, is embarking on a new project cataloging and documenting all 111 grocery stores within the city’s limits. On paper, it’s a thoughtful attempt at really understanding the popular media claim that Detroit is a food desert. Even cooler perhaps is the idea that this photo essay will help gain traction on the kinds of decisions Americans in general are making about the food they eat– from Detroit.
Jeff Wattrick did a great interview with Noah for Deadline Detroit, go ahead and read that first here. Some snippets:
DD: What are your own assumptions that you hope this project tests?
NS: I grew up on welfare in Highland Park. I’ve lived in Detroit for the majority of life. I’ve never been rich. Yet, I’ve always managed to find healthy food to eat. I assume that people who come from the same background I do, don’t eat healthy food because they don’t want to eat healthy food.
I also recognize that assumption could be wrong. Maybe people really, really want apples and oranges throughout Detroit but only have access to potato chips and cake. I’m excited to actually go out and see how other people in Detroit experience shopping for food and to see how their experiences compare to my own.
DD: What’s the timeline to start the project and publish?
NS: Once the budget is secured, I’ll start the eight-week production schedule. I hope to spend at least four weeks in postproduction. Thereafter, I hope to have the dedicated website up and running.
Which brings up probably the most important point: Contribute to Noah’s Kickstarter campaign here. Help this dude get his project underway and funded. Judging the merit of Noah’s work to date in Detroit and beyond, the end product will be a poignant look at the issue and yet another reason to show the world that Detroit can be a laboratory for growth by thoughtfully examining the issues as they exist and envisioning our forward progress.
A retrospective looking at all the Speakers Bureau films we have developed for the Detroit Creative Corridor Center. Go go gadget creative economy Detroit!
Bethany Shorb, Cyberoptix Tie Lab:
Rola Nashef, Gas Afterhours Productions:
Tim Smith, Skidmore Studio:
Â Bethany Betzler and Matt Clayson, The Detroit Creative Corridor Center:
Chazz Miller, Public Art Workz:
Dan Kinkead and Melissa Ditmer, Hamilton Anderson Associates:
Philip Lauri, DETROIT LIVES!:
Josh Dahlberg, Blank Artists:
Jeevak Badve, American Specialty Cars:
Noah Stephens, The People of Detroit Photodocumentary:
Oliver Ragsdale Jr., Carr Cultural Arts Center:
Patrick Thompson, Patrick Thompson Design:
I’m currently sitting in Paris at Charles de Gaulle Airport waiting for the airplane back home. So, the screening tour has come to a delightful close.
A few things to note:
1) Yesterday we released the latest video in the Speakers Bureau, a collection of content we are developing for the Detroit Creative Corridor Center. This week we feature Noah Stephens and his photo docucumentary “The People of Detroit.” Without further ado:
2) The rest of the film screening tour finished wonderfully in the Netherlands. We had a great time hanging with the guys from SocialBeta in Heerlen– a town that has also been hard with the loss of their mining industry. More on that later when I have a few moments to distill some of the things we talked about.
3) Perhaps most importantly, I am hoping to announce another local screening of “After the Factory” in Detroit real soon.
Time to get on the plane, can’t wait to be back in Detroit.
Five things you can do from your desk chair on this wonderfully magnificent rainy Monday:
1) Vote for Mark Covington in the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame. Do that here. You can vote every day, and I would highly reccomend you incorporate it in to your daily routine. Not familiar with Mark’s work? Well, have a looksy.
2) Pledge some money for the latest DL! documentary film in Poland and Detroit on Kickstarter here. Be a part of creating some trans-Atlantic dialogue about reviving post-industrial cities, an issue that is very important. Every dollar counts people, and we really do need your help. Plus, you can get some cool stuff for throwing money in the bucket— DL! shirts, DVD’s, prints, VIP tickets, all kinds of stuff. Come to think of it, it’d be just downright magnificant if you posted something in your social networks to assist in the effort. Just sayin’–
3) Send an email to a friend that is coming to visit you soon in Detroit about having them consider the new hostel as their launch pad instead of your couch. That is, assuming you don’t have a guest room. Book that comfy bed here.
4) Listen to this soul gem coming straight from soul-laden Detroit in the 70s. Masterpiece’s “Love Affair.” Sure to put a punch in any grooveless soggy Monday. Guaranteeeeeeed.
5) Head on over to Noah Stephen’s Flickr account and look at the portrait series he is doing titled “The People of Detroit.” Not only are the photos engaging, but it’s a sweet little picture show of all kinds of walking goodness in Detroit.