ARRIVAL IN DETROIT
Detroit is a little bit like Fargo. It’s not really what you would expect. There is more to it than meets the eye…For now, I have only briefly transited through the city to land in the suburbs where some friends will be hosting me, some real lefty Detroiters.
I fantasized that, with their help, I would be able to meet trade unionists from the auto industry. Sadly, none of them agreed to meet me.
A SEGREGATED CITY
What I have no other choice but to still call segregation seems obvious to me. Except for little small pockets where a few black people seem to have wandered in. Otherwise, for the most part, there seems to be a clear division of things. Even though my project is not focused primarily on the African-American community, I quickly found myself hanging out in black communities, since I have decided to follow my “natural inclination”, meaning following my love for African-American music in its community context.
Given that now that I am hyper aware of it, I can’t stop seeing this segregation everywhere, perhaps wrongly. Take for example the restaurant where I am having breakfast this morning, in the middle of a Lebanese suburb. The institution markets itself as halal, but looks like an old-timey diner, a sign of the irony of the times!
By error (or perhaps by instinct), it seems that I sat in what had appeared to me as the “white section” of the restaurant, occupied mainly by elderly people who seem to have come in here as a group.
But I have not even started to film or meet people… I am still sharpening my knives, fussing over details. I had to return the 4×4 vehicle that the car rental agency had given me, trading it in for a less gas-consuming and less comfortable car. I wonder if I should just film people and leave, or only film real encounters … those for which I have time! … Should I be stressed out over this? Take this as job? Or should I let myself be carried away, even if I may not end up achieving much? The fucking guilt never leaves me. I must prove that I am not a lazy person on a bummed out spree! Prove this to whom?….Must relax. Must understand where I am