Randoms: Rust © Sean Hayes (2010)

Rust Still Life

Rust © Sean Hayes (2010)

What is it about rust that is so photogenic? I found these two unemployed implements, looking sorry for themselves in an equally distressed looking backyard in La Louvière – a small post-industrial city in the south of Belgium. Now that I look at the image again, it could very well be a perfect metaphor for the declining fortunes of a once thriving and prosperous city. During the late 19th and early 20th century, La Louvière was the most important city in the Wallonia region of southern Belgium due to the coal mining wealth it generated. It has degenerated into disrepair in recent years. I have likened the fortunes of the city to that of another city with a glorious industrial past – the American city of Detroit. Both have fallen victim to some rust belt tightening of late. I wonder what the digital rust-free future has in store for both cities.

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