Urban decay and ruin pornography


My new article ‘Debbie does decay: what ‘ruin porn’ tells us about ruins – and porn, has just been published at The Conversation. Here is a snippet:

The term [ruin porn] has cropped up with increasing regularity in the last few years. The ruins of Chernobyl, the Holocaust, Detroit’s urban decay, and even abandoned amusement parks have become havens for “ruin photographers” […] Indeed, ruin sites provide something of a realistic glimpse into post-apocalyptic life for humanity, and hence provoke our engagement with ruin while we are still alive. Toronto-based academic Tong Lam, in his 2013 book Abandoned Futures: A Journey to the Posthuman World, argues: “in a way, we are already post-apocalyptic.” Ruins appear to confront society’s faith in anthropological endurance. Decaying buildings signify the inevitable process of history, to which we, too, will eventually succumb. Essentially, ‘ruin porn’ is a kind of time travel to the future within the present.

Click here to read the whole article.

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