Kristian Chanel 

Kristian Chanel 

A Detroiter Doing Detroit Things...

The city of Detroit, Michigan is rich with color, vibrant communities, and the essence of getting things done. These things raised me culturally and nourished me creatively. Upon receiving my first camera I knew it was my hometown I had to photograph. Inspired by colorful corner stores, abandoned playgrounds, nature growing from blight, glass sprinkled like fairy dust across the streets in my neighborhood, I used photography to transform the chaos around me into things I found beautiful and empowering. 

Loving the thrift store (especially the jewelry counter) as much as I do photography, I decided to bring my two loves together. I turned the things no one wanted to see into things they would want to wear. Photo-necklaces became a canvas for images of Detroit's destroyed and forgotten neighborhoods, clothes thrifted from the city were given new life and vibrance. It began as a photo series for my senior thesis, but when wearing my Detroit garb I felt a little bit of magic and a lot of hope. I knew I had to share the thing that gave me that little extra strength as a Detroiter and an artist, bringing Sankofa Detroit to life.