AFR’s two-dimensional art piece “the Pit of Despair” traveled to Detroit for Michigan United’s annual conference. This “street theater” illustrates the hazard that short-term, high interest loans present to working families. The conference attracted over 400 attendees including labor groups, and legislators such as US Representative Debbie Dingell and a multitude of state senators and representatives.
Detroit passersby were offered a chance to help save a person from the Pit of Despair caused by predatory lending. Michigan is considered a permissive state for payday lending, with a cap on short-term loans that is one of the highest in the nation. For those that do take out the loans, annual interest can grow up to 390%, leaving people paying the interest for many months to come.
As Michigan United put it:
The payday loan problem is another of the many issues Michigan United has addressed in the past year to help our neighbors. Convention goers will also have the opportunity to photograph themselves helping a payday loan victim out of their “pit of dispair”. It is actually a 2 dimensional trompe l’oeil that creates the illusion that a hell mouth has opened up in our parking lot. This street theater illustrates the hazard short term, high interest loans present to working families.