Ahead of the release of his latest book “A&E: Alcohol and England” later this month, for this week’s 'The Idle Man Recommends...', we take a look at the witty and compelling work of photojournalist, Peter Dench. Joining Reportage by Getty Images in 2012, and with accolades such as the World Press Photo and Sony World Photo awards behind him, Dench’s work captures international communities, social issues and the weird and the wonderful in a starkly honest and captivating light.
An enormous body of work transcends social documentary, editorial and advertising photography without ever losing its wit and charm. Here we look at a small selection of images from his “The British Abroad” project, taken across the European tourist party scene from Sunny Beach, Bulgaria to Aiya Napa, Cyprus.
Talking about the experiences he had during the project, Dench says;
“Life can at times be limiting and disappointing. When you’ve saved up all year for a week in the sun, sometimes, all you can do as a Brit abroad, is book into a cheap hotel, fasten on your highest heels, pull up your shortest shorts (men just pull up your shorts), stick a coloured straw in a fishbowl full of Rushkinoff Vodka, turn on and turn up ‘Play Hard’ by David Guetta (featuring Ne-Yo and Akon), put your hands in the air, and wave them like you just don’t F**king care, because next week you’ll be back in Wigan.”
Dench’s work grabs you by the shoulders and rigorously shakes you, making you take a long, hard look at the world we currently live in and the bizarre, humorous and endearing social rituals we belong to that make us as a society who we are. Which is cool.