Martin_Claire_020SLAB CITY

Slab City has been created by a small but committed community of squatters in the Colorado Desert of South Eastern California, USA. Taking its name from the concrete slabs that remain from an abandoned World War II base, it is a tragic yet romantic landscape that commands its residents to possess the same balance of beauty and beast. Unbearable temperature highs in summer weed out the many who inhabit the free space in winter leaving only the most resilient, or the most unfortunate, as permanent residents. These same people maintain the ad-hoc infrastructure that makes it such a desirable community to visit in the cooler months. Those who stay year after year could be described as poverty stricken; living in some of the worst conditions in America. Some residents would tell you this is the truth. Others fiercely defend their lifestyle as a deliberate choice of rejecting mainstream society. For these people Slab City provides a freedom they’d never experienced before. There are others who were forced here through circumstance; society won’t tolerate them due to their pasts as felons, addicts or vagrants, but who wholeheartedly embrace the opportunity to live in a community that won’t judge them. Slab City is a place for the broken and desperate and for the fierce defenders of freedom from tyranny. But more than anything else, it is what this small group of people call home.
















Claire began her career by pursuing a degree in social work, however, switched her focus to photography when she realised that change can also be effected through this medium. She is quickly finding a place for herself in the international documentary and photo reportage scene with her first two series on poverty and addiction garnering attention and awards from the world’s leading editors, photo critics and photographers. Claire’s work has been published in numerous online journals including Reportage, Foto 8, the UK Telegraph, Spiegel online, The Tyee, Photonet Korea and the UK Independent. This year she was selected as an “emerging talent” for Reportage by Getty images. She was also represented by the Board of FotoFreo as Australia’s Emerging Female Photojournalist, with an exhibition in the 2010 festival. Claire recently relocated to Perth where she is working as a freelance photographer. Visit Claire’s website to view more of her work.