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L'oeil de la Photography

Hat & Beard Press : Brian Finke : Backyard Fights

“You fight it out. And then, after that, you hug it out, and you become friends. You know, you become closer, brothers, family. …”

For five years, photographer Brian Finke documented StreetBeefs, an underground fight club in rural Virginia founded by an ex-con named Scarface. Tired of seeing his community ravaged by preventable violence and drug-use, and fueled by the distrust and failure of the prison system, Scarface began hosting fights, inviting anyone anywhere to come resolve disputes with their fists, not guns. Thousands of fights later, The Yard has grown into a cult destination and supportive community. It’s a positive space not only for conflict-resolution, but also an outlet for recovering addicts and ex-convicts, amateur fighters, the young and bored—or anyone needing to relieve stress by punching someone in the face... 

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