Twin brothers Claude and Elie, 25, fell in love with the visual arts at a young age. Now in their twenties, they’re making strides in their careers.
Originally from Rwanda, the twins moved to Scotland in their early teens. They became service users with our youth homelessness service when they were 16, after their relationship with their dad fell apart.
Strength to strength
Since then, both have gone from strength to strength. Filmmaker Claude has already produced a number of acclaimed short films on topics close to his heart.
He said: “My first film was all about what it’s like to be young and homeless, how terrifying that can be and how fantastic it is to have services like CHYP there to catch you.
“Without CHYP and Fire Station, I don’t think my life would have turned out as well. And I know that’s true for many other service users.”
Celebrating a Community
His latest film is called Celebrating a Community, and looks at the heritage and future of the Queens Cross area which he calls home. The 15-minute documentary asks the question ‘what makes a community better?’ and features footage of our Gala Day, Stag Groups and local landscape. There are also interviews with staff from Queens Cross, Patrick Thistle and Café D’Jaconelli. It’s been entered in both the Edinburgh and London Film Festivals.
Claude has his sights set high for the future. He’s setting up his own production company, Motion Line Pictures, developing a television show and filming a new short film in the summer.
Published in Vogue
Brother Elie is equally ambitious. He’s already carving out a successful career as a freelance photographer. Amongst a busy schedule of college work, Elie works taking photographs for weddings, events and press. His work has so far been published in The Independent, Elle Magazine and Vogue.
Elie would like to continue to expand his portfolio, and make it big in the fashion industry, specialising in portraiture. He’s also looking at setting up an exhibition at Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Art later this year. You can see all of Elie’s work on his website, www.eliephotography.com.
Sharon Freeman, Housing Support Manager with our youth homelessness service has known the brothers since they first moved to CHYP. He said:
“Claude and Elie are inspirational. Their work is fantastic and they’re a credit to the service and themselves.
“They’re a testament to how our youth homelessness projects, CHYP and Fire Station, can help young people to shine and achieve all they can, with the right support.”