illustration Archive

2,300 miles to work

The former Soviet republic of Tajikistan is a country chronically short of work, with an economy heavily dependent on money sent back by Tajiks from elsewhere. The choice facing many of its young men is to stay at home without a job or go to Russia without their family.  Each week, thousands of them make a four-day, 2,300-mile train journey from Dushanbe through Central Asia to Moscow.  In a novel approach to telling their stories, a report for The New York Times combines video from the filmmaker Tim Brown with illustrations by George Butler.

War in watercolours

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, a former architect who is now an award-winning correspondent for The Guardian, is writing a book about his life as a reporter, focusing on assignments in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. He makes sense of his experiences in those places not just with words and photographs but with sketches in pen and watercolours. “When you’re in a conflict zone,” he told his colleague Killian Fox in The Observer at the weekend, “drawing is amazingly therapeutic.”