CLARE IS A FOUNDING MEMBER OF CALAIS ACTION, A GRASSROOTS AID AND ADVOCACY GROUP ESTABLISHED IN AUGUST 2015 TO SUPPORT REFUGEES IN CALAIS AND ACROSS EUROPE. SHE HEADS UP THE LOCAL ‘BRIGHTON’ SECTION OF THE GROUP.
Clare is also a photographer and alongside fellow photographers, Miguel Amortegui and Becky Matthews, initiated Welcome to Our Jungle, a participatory photography project based in the refugee camp known as the ‘Jungle’ in Calais. The aim of the project is to give a much needed platform for the voices of those directly affected by the crisis, in an attempt to provide a counter narrative to the predominantly negative and unbalanced rhetoric, broadcast in the mainstream media. Most of the stories on this web site come from participants of Clare’s project.
Clare has spent much of the last year volunteering in the camp in Calais and has also spent time on the Greek island of Samos, where she has had the horror and the privilege to experience the crisis up close and personal.
“Like most of us, I was moved by the images in the news of those fleeing for their lives across the Mediterranean during the summer of 2015. I couldn’t understand why collective governments weren’t taking action to help these people, survivors of war, genocide and persecution. So I was compelled to act myself.
During my time volunteering, I have had the utmost honour of building relationships with the survivors of this global crisis. What has struck, and stayed with me the most, is their indomitable strength, hope and dignity, especially after everything they have endured.
Spending time with these people, and learning their stories, made me realise – there is no ‘Us & Them’ – there is only US.”
As a participatory photographer facilitator, Clare is passionate about giving ‘voice’ and empowering people to tell their own stories, in their own words.