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Giles Clarke Ventures into the Neon Underground

In February, award-winning photographer Giles Clarke did a trip through the Las Vegas storm tunnels with Matthew O'Brien, an author and journalist who has lived in Las Vegas since 1997. We have the photos to prove it.

In February, I took a trip through the Las Vegas storm tunnels and drains with author and journalist, Matthew O'Brien. Matthew’s first book, Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas, chronicles his time in the city's underground flood channels, and his work inspired me to document the people who inhabit them. Matthew is also the founder of Shine a Light, a Las Vegas community project that provides housing and drug counseling.

Many of the inhabitants of the tunnels have major drug habits and find solace underground. While down there, I met a homeless man named Bobby, who told me, “I'm down to spending $10 a day on dope now but, unless I have a full blown heroin habit, I can't apply for a bed in rehab... and most of us who have the 'full blown habits' don't last very long." 

The subsequent pictures from our journey are an example of the forgotten humanity discarded by the system. For whatever reason, this is their refuge. 

Giles Clarke's work is focused on social issues that impact society. He is currently working on photographing and filming the Occupy Wall Street Movement, the toxic legacy of Bhopal, India, and the homeless.

John A. moved to Las Vegas two years ago. He was fired from his Mandalay Bay hotel job (sorting the recycled garbage) when his bosses found out he was homeless.

The aforementioned "Bobby".