Like a modern-day Weegee, Harri Palviranta cruises the night streets of Finland, armed with his Hasselblad camera and a big flash, looking for a fight to photograph, or the bloodied face of a drunken party-goer, or the scene of a recent brawl.

Drunken public violence is an increasing occurrence among the young and restless in many parts of contemporary Finnish society. Weekend parties often lead to intoxication, loosened inhibitions, random physical aggression and bloody violence.

The problem is well-documented in the press and headlines, but rarely shown in pictures. Palviranta thinks his photographs (part art, part documentary) add a new dimension to understanding what is really going on.

“An image tells the story with different grammar,” he says.  “It alters the discussion by adding sensory-based knowledge. I have been mainly concentrating on the physical marks that an assault leaves to the body. I also photograph fights as they appear, and the places where fights have taken place.”

The images shown here are just a fraction of the whole series Palviranta has photographed.

— Jim Casper