Goldengate Index Description

Squatting is an act of occupying an abandoned building with intent of living there. This action can be used as a political and social statement, since by occupying a building one is relieved of paying rent. By minimizing the living costs one receives a greater freedom and more free time to be creative or do something else other than working the whole day to pay the bills. After all that’s how most Americans spend greater part of their lives.

Goldengate squat community is located within the 8 mile radius of downtown Detroit. It’s a rough part of town, where aside from regular people your neighbors are drug addicts and drug dealers. Goldengate is the name of the street where most members of this community live on. They get their food by cashing in food stamps and dumpster diving.

I often noticed that when the going gets tough people are gathering in some form of community to be able to support each other and land a hand if it is needed. Goldengate is a good example of that.

Detroit’s once proud image has now gone bust. Today it is a city of paradoxes. It’s an illustration of what happens to a city when the main industry suddenly disappears leaving many Detroiters without a job or any other opportunity for employment. The American Dream no longer lives in the city that once housed the likes of Motown and once drove the car industry in the United States.

Please visit my blog dedicated to AMEЯИKA project for more images:

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  • View of the neighbourhood from the roof of the Packard Plant
  • Eugene on the Goldengate street
  • View from inside JD’s house
  • Hair cutting day in JD's house. From left to right: Rodney, Clyde and Tee
  • Mayflower ship inside JD's house
  • Eveline is carving a pumpkin on the Halloween’s eve
  • JB
  • Bob and his wife Tachema in the cafe part of the community centre
  • Shane and Tyler at the community centre
  • Josh is smoking in front of the community center during the Halloween
  • Bob, his wife Tachema and their newborn baby - Herschel
  • Tommy "Spaghetti" practicing playing accordion blindfolded
  • Jona collecting wood for the stove. Most of the houses on the street have a wood stove to keep them warm
  • Coconut, Marshall and Tommy "Spaghetti" are dumpster diving at the back of the local supermarket
  • Downtown Detroit