detroit

Urban Interiors Project

Wayne State University

Urban Interiors Project is an ongoing collaboration between photographer Bruce Harkness and historian John Bukowczyk intended to document, through photographs and interviews, the lives of Detroit’s Poletown/Chene District residents. The area under examination, which is located on the city’s east side, was once a solid working-class enclave that has gradually become blighted; in 1980, for instance, 3,400 residents and 140 businesses were displaced and 1,200 buildings razed there in order to make room for an industrial park, which currently houses a General Motors plant. Since its inception in 1987, the project has accumulated an archive of several thousand images and more than 70 hours of taped interviews with some 140 former residents of the area. An investigation of material culture—personal possessions, their arrangement, and the meanings they carry—has been a central concern of the

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