My friend, Ann Mitchell, gave me the heads up about Claire Martin’s engaging project, Slab City. Claire started her career by exploring a degree in social work, but changed her focus to photography when she realized that change can be effected through images. The photograph reveals and illuminates: it educates and inspires action. Her work has garnered many awards including the Deeper Perspective Photographer of the Year by IPA, and the Up and Coming Portrait Photographer at the Sony World Photography Awards. Claire recently relocated to Perth, Australia and is now working as a freelance photographer.
Slab City has been created by a small but committed squatters community. It lies in the Colorado Desert in southeastern California and takes it’s name from the concrete slabs that remain from an abandoned World War II base. It is a truly horrific and romantic landscape that commands residents to possess the same balance of beauty and beast. Unbearable temperature highs in the summer weed out the many who inhabit the free space in the winter, leaving only the most resilient, or the most unfortunate to become permanent residents.
I would be remiss not to include Claire’s series, The Downtown East Side, featuring residents of Vancouver that live below the povertyline.
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