CLARKES, Lincoln (1957- )




Author Tags: Downtown Eastside, Essentials 2010, Photography, Women

QUICK REFERENCE ENTRY:

How should society recognize and remember its most dreadful events? Province reporter Salim Jiwa has written two books about the two Air India terrorist bombings in 1985, one of which ripped open a jumbo jet from Vancouver over the Irish Sea, murdering 329 people. Journalists Damian Inwood and Jon Ferry wrote The Olson Murders (1982) and Ian Mulgrew provided Final Payoff: The True Price of Convicting Clifford Robert Olson (1990).

For years, Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen and the police board failed to recognize that a serial killer could be responsible for the spate of missing women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. To ensure society didn’t “invisibilize” such women again, Lincoln Clarkes published photos of their peers. His controversial black-and-white album of marginalized women posing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Heroines (2002), is arguably one of the most timely, necessary and respectful books ever published in B.C.

A resident of the Downtown Eastside, Clarkes is a professional photographer who began in 1996 to take photos of the women he met in his neighborhood, many of whom were prostitutes or drug addicts. By treating his subjects with the same respect he would accord Sharon Stone, one of his movie business clients, he assembled a photographic documentary that served as the basis for an award-winning documentary film with original poetry read by Susan Musgrave. Heroines: A Photographic Obsession opened the Leipzig Documentary Film Festival and has been shown nationally in Canada. The art exhibit and documentary film led to the publication of Heroines, the book, with commentaries from author Barbara Hodgson, social advocate Elaine Allan, 20th-century photo collector Patricia Canning and art curator Ken Dietrich-Campbell. In 2003, Heroines was named co-winner of the Vancouver Book Award for best book about the city.

The barbaric murders of women associated with the pig farm managed by Robert Picton and his brother have been documented by various journalists, and Maggie de Vries wrote Missing Sarah (2003) after Vancouver police gave her the news in 2002 that a sample of her younger sister Sarah’s DNA (from a tooth) had been found on the Port Coquitlam property of Robert Pickton, the accused serial killer of Vancouver prostitutes. Maggie de Vries’s 28-year-old sister had vanished from the corner of Princess and Hastings on April 14, 1998. Maggie de Vries’ heart-rending memoir won both the first annual George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in B.C. Literature and the 13th annual VanCity Book Prize for women’s issues.


FULL ENTRY:

Beautiful women on bicycles in downtown traffic, many wearing short skirts, comprise the first two-thirds of Lincoln Clarkes’ Cyclists (Quattro 2013 $35), followed by less conspicuous gents. These are fashionable, beguiling portraits from Toronto that are presented as “stolen public moments given back to us as art & history.” It’s less controversial than Clarkes’ stunning and brave Vancouver-based predecessor Heroines (Anvil 2002) but no less timely. 978-1927443-45-3

Lincoln Clarkes' Heroines is a black & white photographic documentary of the marginalized women of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. It is one of the most timely, necessary and respectful books ever published in British Columbia.

Born in Toronto in 1957, Lincoln Clarkes came to Vancouver as a teenager. Originally a painter, he taught himself photography and now works successfully in fashion and portraiture. As a resident of the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver, he began in 1996 to take black & white photos of the women he met in his neighborhood, many of whom were prostitutes and/or drug addicts. By treating his subjects with the same respect he would accord Sharon Stone, one of his movie business clients, he assembled a photographic documentary that served as the basis for an award-winning documentary film from Peach Arch Entertainment. With original poetry read by Susan Musgrave, Heroines: A Photographic Obsession opened the Leipzig Documentary Film Festival and has been shown nationally in Canada. The art exhibit and documentary film led to the publication of Heroines with commentaries from author Barbara Hodgson, social advocate Elaine Allan, 20th-century photo collector Patricia Canning and art curator Ken Dietrich-Campbell. In 2003, it was named co-winner of the Vancouver Book Award for best book about the city.

BOOKS:

Heroines: Photographs by Lincoln Clarkes (Anvil Press, 2002)
$29 can / $20 us | ISBN 1-895636-45-0 | 7 x 6.25 | 152 pages, paper

[BCBW 2013]