George Georgiou travelled across London on buses, photographing the fleeting scenes he spotted on the streets outside the windows. His fantastic photos, looking like scenes from mini soap operas, have been published in the book Last Stop.
When you look at these brief encounters, you cannot help but wonder what was happening. "We fill in the blanks, a little like when we drive past an accident on the highway, we glimpse the crashed car and imagine the rest. How we perceive became an important element in the work." Georgiou says. "Are they secret lovers or a married couple? The essence of the project is that you might take the same route everyday but what you see, the ebb and flow on the street, takes on a random nature."
London's double decker buses are the perfect "vehicle or vessel" to explore and transverse a complex and vast city, to frame it, Georgiou says. "The lower level is very close to the street, where I'm almost touching the people in the traditional form of street photography. The upper deck allows me the distance to capture the layers of the urban landscape."
He came up with the idea for this project when he returned to London in 2008, having spent the past nine years living and working in Eastern Europe and Turkey. He says he was surprised by the speed of change that had taken place and wanted to document the city, its movements and migrations, its landscape and architecture, its diversity and energy.
In an interview with the British Journal of Photography, he said: "I was amazed at how the city had opened up to people who, before, never had a connection to Britain. I thought it was fascinating and positive, seeing so many different people living together, and somehow mostly making it work."
These photos play with the idea of surveillance, and reference the look of Google Street View. He said: "Surveillance in the city is all around us but on the flip side of this is also our sense of invisibility, how we allow ourself to express very private behaviour in public space, like a family argument. I see the photography as straddling, street photography, surveillance, landscape and documentary fiction."
Georgiou's book Last Stop was published with the help of £8,000 raised via Kickstarter. In the book (available from his website), the photos are presented in a concertina fashion, so they can be viewed in any order, allowing the reader to create his or her own sequence.