Chris Dorley-Brown grew up on the south coast of England but has lived and worked in the east end of London for the last thirty years. His influences are shaped by personal memory and those of others. The east end and its ever-increasing diaspora — with its tradition of radicalism, experimentation and innovation — are crucial to his work. Immigration, integration, conflict and movement are all studied in his images. In addition to his photographic archive production, since 1993 he has been collaborating with artists, filmmakers, curators, performers and writers producing feature film, short film, radio, publications and exhibitions. He lives and works in London.
Every city has its clichs and London is no exception. But beyond the bobbies, red telephone boxes and telegenic young royals, lies a real city that is just as easily toured as St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. linkwheel creation . All you need do is hop on a city bus. It’s an approach adopted by photographer George Georgiou for his series Invisible: London, which explores the city’s outer reaches, from Clapton Pond to North Greenwich to Crystal Palace. Georgiou, a Londoner who returned to the city after living abroad for eight years, snapped passing cityscapes and people at bus stops, recording the day-to-day actions that most people simply ignore.
The idea of photographing from buses presented creative benefits. “I kind of like the idea of the reflections and the layering,” says Georgiou, noting that it was not unusual to see Victorian houses with Indian shops tucked underneath. But it also had its challenges. “There’s a lot of dirty glass in London,” he says. Georgiou set out specifically to ride all of London’s routes, exploring places that were only familiar as far-off bus line terminations like Morden and High Barnet. And while he did not intend to train his camera primarily on down-and-out neighborhoods, he found well-heeled areas and people more difficult to capture. “Wealthy people walk differently,” he says, adding that they are generally more private in public and don’t spend as much time lingering on the streets and at bus stops. Moneyed neighborhoods also tended to have more mature trees and greenery, screening pedestrians and houses from Georgiou’s lens. People living in less affluent areas, by contrast, were exposed in a desert of asphalt.
To be sure, London’s council estates and suburbs lack the obvious appeal of its famous monuments. But Georgiou says the city is defined as much by transition as tradition. While familiar characters like the working class woman (“London Bus No. 145. Ilford to Dagenham Asda”) remain, large numbers of immigrants contribute to ceaseless cultural change in the city. The outer reaches of London may be invisible, but there’s no doubting that they are real.
George Georgiou is a UK-based photographer. See more of his workhere.
When Chinese scouts set out to recruit athletes for their national women’s weight-lifting team in the late 1990s, they had specific criteria in mind. Calculated research had given them the perfect profile: stoic, quick, powerful and, of course, strong. By 2000, China had one of the most powerful teams in the world, and today, China’s female weight lifters are expected to dominate their competition in London.
(For daily coverage of the 2012 Games, visit TIME’s Olympics blog.)
In May, TIME sent contract photographer James Nachtwey to Beijing to photograph the national women’s weight-lifting team as it prepared for London. The photographs document the making of elite athletes in a country that has quickly become an Olympic powerhouse, earning the most gold medals of any nation in 2008’s Beijing Games.
Nachtwey’s images put faces to China’s supercharged athletic program. Photographed from behind, the arms, legs and shoulders of one team member look as solid as the massive weights she holds, with seemingly little effort, in her calloused hands. In another, Wang Mingjuan, a tiny woman at just 48 kg (106 lb.), lifts a burden that looks as if it would easily stump amateur weight lifters twice her size.
To explain China’s success in the sport, the national team’s coach Xu Jingfa offers a simple explanation: “We do everything together, and we work harder than everyone else.”
That hard work includes six-day weeks of all-day training. The 30 members of the national team wake together at 6:30 a.m. and begin a marathon schedule of exercise, physical therapy and classes that range from weight-lifting techniques to “ideological education.” Weight lifting has consumed their lives since they began training at age 10 or 11. In London, it will become clear just how much this dedication will pay off for China’s strongest women.
Read more about China’s Olympic athletes at TIME.com.
James Nachtwey is a TIME contract photographer who has covered Sept. 11 and the 2011 Japanese tsunami, among other topics, for the magazine. He was awarded the 2012 Dresden Peace Prize.