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The 'East side' or (DTES) in downtown Vancouver, Canada is well known for its high crime, homelessness and drug addiction. I went there to photograph the true, sad and raw reality of this as I'd witnessed years before as a resident. My focus as a documentary photographer was to show a different side to these people that live here, an open more friendly vision among the prostitution, drug abuse and mental instability and find a true understanding of the way they live by recording conversations and encounters with them.

My approach meant spending many weeks in freezing temperatures and long hours getting to know each individual, in sometimes dangerous circumstances in alleyways and unpredictable street corners where I was verbally threatened countless times by drug dealers. Yet I found the most willing, fascinating people to record for my project, who let me into their environment & personal lives so we built a trusting relationship meaning I could create an honest portrayal.

See more from Clarke on her Website.