• the chill of it all: surfing off the coast of sweden

    Surfers don’t just gather in California and Cornwall. A few tough men have made a habit of surfing at Torö, an island off the coast of Sweden. Among them is the photographer Daniel Månsson, who captures some frozen moments. Text by Isabel Lloyd.

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  • shadow boxing: the boxers of kibera, nairobi

    In the slum of Kibera, life is lived for the moment. Jehad Nga, an American war photographer, keeps going back to the local boxing club, where it feels as if the men are fighting their own shadows. Here he talks to J.M. Ledgard about the appeal of the place.

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  • extreme dogs

    Famous for his extraordinary pictures of horses, TIM FLACH has now turned his lens on dogs. He talks about abstraction, neuroscience and the things we do to pets ...

    Introduction by JOHN PARKER, globalisation correspondent of The Economist. His own dog is a Newfoundland.

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  • holy rollers: kathmandu's sadhus

    No sex, no family, no money…but plenty of consolations, including considerable flexibility and a liking for a giggle.

    IAN WINSTANLEY photographs the Sadhus of Kathmandu. Introduction by SIMON LONG.

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  • london for loners: sunday nights

    Big cities by day can become all too familiar. But on Sunday nights in winter, even sights you know well can turn into something strange and new. A photo essay by PETER KINDERSLEY. Introduction by JOANNA PITMAN.

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  • behind the curtain: the lviv ballet

    Seldom does a Westerner win the trust of an eastern European ballet company. But, for our photo essay, SIMON CROFTS went backstage with the Lviv ballet—and even into the dancers’ homes. JULIE KAVANAGH, author of "Rudolf Nureyev: The Life" and a contributing editor to Intelligent Life magazine, writes about the ballet company.

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  • kenya: faces of aids

    Most photographs that capture Kenya appear in technicolour, zooming in on the country’s vibrant hues and landscapes. Their subjects are usually animals. (Tourism propped up the Kenyan economy until 2007, when the presidential election dragged down the industry.) This collection is quite different. In 2005 and 2007 ALEXANDRA SUICH, now a contributor to The Economist, worked with organisations in Kenya that provide at-home care to people who are HIV-positive. There she met and photographed a number of people, mostly women, who are fighting the disease or caring for people stricken with it.

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  • berlin revisited: 20 years after the wall

    In 1989 BRIAN HARRIS photographed the fall of the Berlin wall. Twenty years on, he returned to capture today’s Berlin for our photo essay in the Summer 2009 issue of Intelligent Life. Here we show a selection of Harris’s pictures with his commentary, introduced by TIM DE LISLE, editor of Intelligent Life. We are grateful to the Independent for permission to use photos from 1989.

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  • 21st-century slaves: a hidden india

    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

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  • the national theatre: behind the scenes

    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.

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  • closing time: a nation of shopkeepers

    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.

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  • arctic blues: the big chill

    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

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