Exploring Forgotten Cities with Juan Madrid

Once a symbol of prosperity during the heyday of the American auto industry, the city of Flint has reentered the public’s vernacular due to the area’s ongoing water crisis and high rate of violent crime. For years, the general public has associated Flint with little more than destitution.  However, since his initial visit in 2014, photographer Juan Madrid has instead chosen to focus on what lies just beneath the surface of the hurting city. Humanizing the denizens in a way few others can, Madrid has managed to bring tales of survival and perseverance to life in stand-alone frames, capturing glimmers of hope among the ruins of yesterday.

In recent years, his focus has shifted toward other communities forging new paths in the face of similar socio-economic struggle, including his hometown of Catskill, New York. Nevertheless, the original images featured in Waiting On The Dream as well Welcome to Flint (a collaboration with Brett Carlsen) remain captivating, powerful, and relevant.

All photos are courtesy of Juan Madrid.