Claire Martin (Australia): Selections from The Downtown East Side and Slab City
Inge Morath Award Winner, 2010
Editor’s note: In 2010, in recognition of exceptional quality of submissions received, two applicants were selected as winners of the Inge Morath Award. Lurdes Basolí’s winning project was featured in IM Magazine in September 2010.
Both my previous works “The Downtown East Side” and “Slab City” have explored communities of people living in desperate conditions in prosperous, stable countries. The Downtown East Side is located in Vancouver, Canada. The ten block radius is home to a host of social problems including extreme poverty, an AIDS rate estimated at over 30% and the leading cause of death is overdose. Slab City is a squatters community located in the Colorado Desert in California. Residents of this community live in some of the worst conditions in the USA with no access to electricity, sewage, water or waste disposal. Mental illness, addiction and poor coping strategies are the common factors that brought these people to their respective communities. I was drawn to document these communities because the same issues have played a role in my own life. … read more