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Abandoned Knowledge

A photographer from Detroit posted a set of pictures from the city’s abandoned school book depository that are both sad and strangely beautiful.


Equally poignant are his thoughts about what he saw.

All that’s left is an overwhelming sense of knowledge unlearned and untapped potential. It is almost impossible not to see all this and make some connection between the needless waste of all these educational supplies and the needless loss of so many lives in this city to poverty and violence, though the reality of why these supplies were never used is unclear. In some breathtakingly-beautiful expression of hope, an anonymous graffiti artist has painted a phoenix-like book rising from the ashes of the third floor.

Thanks to Boing Boing for the link.

1 Comment

  1. Janell Bodmer

    The pictures of the Detroit Public Schools book depository were eerily breathtaking. The eerie feeling, I believe was brought on by the many unknown questions that ran through my mind. Why? Why did those huge stacks of textbooks go unopened? Did the people in charge not care? Did they not care about the many, many children that those books could have influenced to stay in school or to find their niche in life? It is terrible to think of how many kids, no matter what subject the books were meant to teach, could have been influenced by the class and the books. It is a shame to waste an education and even worse to waste the tools that help to secure an education. The other pictures that really bothered me and made me feel sad were the pictures of the bears talking to one another asking for help. It was obvious that this page was out of a beginning reading book or workbook. It made me think of all the people in this world who are illiterate and who never had the luxury of learning from these books. To look at that rotting mess of paper and to not feel anything is impossible in my opinion. An education is a terrible thing to waste and whatever caused those books and materials to go unused and forgotten is shameful.

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