Thursday, April 6, 2017
But as a photographer who believes in documenting the world around him, John necessarily takes a lot of pictures these days of doomed houses, destroyed gardens and huge machines chewing their way through buildings. One day he discovered another angle to the demolition frenzy -- a gigantic debris pile in an industrial area of southeast Vancouver. Each of the 1,000 houses demolished in Vancouver every year produces 50 tonnes of demolition waste, and this is where it ends up.
He's been photographing the debris pile for several years now, but when he shot it in July of 2016, it was the highest he'd ever seen it. At about 50 feet, it dwarfed the huge trucks hauling in the waste.
Recently, when I met several other people to discuss the demolitions, it seemed natural to take along that photograph. John made it into a poster, adding the words: "What a street of character houses looks like in Vancouver." (You can tell he used to work for a newspaper.)
People loved the poster and wanted copies, but I gave it to Adriane Carr, the only member of Vancouver city council who seems concerned about the mass destruction of perfectly liveable homes. She was delighted, and scrutinized it closely. "I love it," she said. "I'm going to put it up in my office. No, I'm going to put it on my office door."
In the corridors of power, a little slice of what's going on in the outside world -- courtesy of a photograph.