You don't often come across a photographer who's also a Ph.D student in sociology, but it makes sense when you look at David Schalliol's work, especially his images of Detroit's dilapidated housing and Chicago's struggle to rebuild its housing projects, a series made in conjunction with the Chicago Housing Authority's ongoing "Plan for Transformation." The plan has been in effect since 2000 and Schalliol has been documenting the unending cycle of demolition, construction and reoccupation since 2003. Instead of reusing existing public housing projects, Chicago has been tearing everything down and starting fresh, which sounds good until you consider how wasteful and environmentally irresponsible that tear down/build up method of construction really is. You can see a selection of those images on his site or, for a more up-to-date steam, check out his Flckr, where you can also see photos from his other series.
Some of his best work is of Detroit, a city Schalliol calls "the poster child for a recession."
This series seeks to address this discourse by acknowledging the city's problems but then complicating them through close examination of the urban landscape. I approached the project as a sociologist and photographer who principally works on Chicago's South and West Sides in order to use previous experience as a foil to the dominant discourse. My expectation was that an understanding of the discursive processes by which much of Chicago is oversimplified would help illuminate the even more misrepresented Motor City.