They’re not in chains, but they are shackled by debt, paid virtually nothing and treated harshly. Pete Pattisson goes to India to capture the face of slavery today in our Spring 2009 photo essay. Introduction by The Economist’s Asia editor, Simon Long
A HARD DAY'S NIGHTView gallery »
Migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh work late at a brick kiln in Punjab. Sometimes the kiln shuts for lack of demand, so the workers earn nothing and have to borrow more from their employers. There is even an informal market where workers can be “sold” to other kiln-owners, just like slaves.
The National Theatre has been called a castle, a cathedral, a temple of art, a palace of culture and a nuclear-power station. But the theatre's idea of itself is changing. What was once a spot for earnest plays and capital-A "Art" has become a friendlier, sunnier place with the vitality of a carnival.Brian Harris, a former chief photographer of the Independent , spent a month behind the scenes capturing preparations for "War Horse", a National hit that is now earning ovations on the West End. Robert Butler, a former theatre critic, describes the drama within the fortress.View gallery »
The National Theatre at night: LED lights transform the concrete exterior into a winning display of orange, purple, green and blue. When the National opened here in 1976, in an area badly hit by the Blitz, it was a lonely bastion of culture on the south bank. Among the many changes at the National over 32 years, the biggest has been its location. The stretch of riverbank that runs from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge has become London’s high street for the arts, with an annual footfall of 19m people. A little further east sits Shakespeare’s Globe, Tate Modern and the steely curves of Norman Foster’s City Hall.
Before there were chainstores and malls, there were single shops--and the British were famous for keeping them. Now they are dying out. The photographer Nick Dawe has made it his mission to capture them for posterity. Here we present his pictures as a photo essay, and he explains to Nick Coleman what draws him to these singular establishments.
"This is a personal project which has been going on for years. It emerged out of another one, “Roadside Britain”, which is just things of interest I catch sight of on the move. Some of these images were found that way too, but with a difference--I began to find that some of the pictures weren’t just about places but also about character."
Pictured: Powell’s Bakery, Poplar, East London
"Powell’s was part of a small chain around the Isle of Dogs area of East London—now unfortunately all gone. One of the shops baked the bread, which was then distributed around the others. When people look at Molly in my portfolio, they comment that it’s a shame there is so little stock. I have to point out that the picture was taken after lunch—there’s not much left on the shelves because she’s had a good day."
The Russian winter tends to be romanticised, but it doesn’t feel much like a Christmas card when you’re actually there. SIMON ROBERTS captures its astringent beauty for our photo essay, and talks about it to ALEXANDRA LENNOX
Arctic Russia is cold, harsh, strange and vast—it stretches nearly halfway round the world, from Finland to Alaska. If you want to photograph it at its coldest, you have to be quick. “During the winter months”, Simon Roberts says, “it’s perpetual dusk and by 4 o’clock it’s pitch black. I was working in temperatures of minus 25 to minus 40, which left little time to take the pictures as it was difficult to expose my hands for long.”
Pictured: Monchegorsk, Murmansk Region, North-West Russia “The snowy fields around Monchegorsk disguise the fact that it is one of the most polluted towns in Russia,” says Simon Roberts. The church pictured in the foreground was built just a year ago and is surrounded by dachas (traditional Russian country homes), a retreat for the rich and poor alike. Since the demise of communism, the church has enjoyed a revival.View gallery »