The night before Halloween is know as “Devil’s Night” in Detroit. This term is old, dating as far back as the 40s where teenaged vandals would deface public and private property. In the 70s, vandalism was a poor definition of the destruction that the city was to experiencing. Arson became the preferred practice of these so-called “vandals” and bringing terrible damage to the city’s housing stock.
It must be understood that though this phenomenon is purportedly labeled as vandalism, I believe it is evidence of the sever desperation felt by the city dwellers. These residents see no value in the objects in which they inhabit. This devaluation indicates to the public that these houses may as well burn. Many people will blame the fires on a disgruntled youth population, but does the general public not also show signs of hopelessness? How does it change? How does it regenerate?