The Bronx Isn’t Burning, Is It?: Ruin Porn and Contemporary Perceptions of The Bronx

  • Joseph Donica


The Bronx has a well-known and often-told history of crime, blight, and urban decay. National media has fixated on this period of the Bronx with Baz Luhrmann setting his recent Netflix show The Get Down against the backdrop of a burning Bronx to Anthony Bourdain filming his CNN show in the Bronx and obsessively focusing on the Bronx’s history. By looking to how these images of the Bronx shape our popular imagination of the borough, I make the larger argument that memories of place created by images of places we have never seen can challenge our notion of what it means to be urban in an increasingly pre-urban world. Such images can also offer us some consolation as the posthuman spaces evolve into prehuman landscapes once again.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Donica
    • 1
  1. 1.Bronx Community College, City University of New YorkBronxUSA

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