July 18, 2009

   More Like Whistling by the Graveyard?

In the past year, Detroit has undoubtedly become the photographic destination du jour for America’s devastating recession. As an example, this photo — captured last winter by photographer James Pomerantz — seems to telegraph the death of the American auto giant.

Despite struggling under a huge burden of debt, however, Ford upgraded its management and reorganized its operations several years ago, leaving it in an independent and more viable situation than either of the now-bankrupt GM or Chrysler.

Even more specific to the reading of the picture, though, is the relationship of the Ford descendants to the company. At present, five family members work for Ford and dozens more form a solid alliance in standing by the business, maintaining a majority stake in the company. As a result, the photo is much more than a one liner, referring instead to distress as part of the life cycle and emphasizing an ethic of continuity through good times and bad.


(image: ©James Pomerantz. February, 2009. Used by permission)

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Michael Shaw
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