In the darkened streets of New York City, Brooklyn-based photographer Ben Franke captures the gravity-defying vaults of Parkour athletes. The training practice, based in part off of military obstacle courses, is a noncompetitive discipline wherein skilled participants get from a point A to a point B using the most efficient techniques, including climbing, jumping, and vaulting. Hoping to stay true to the essence of the holistic method, the artist partnered with the city’s first Parkour facility, BRKLYN BEAST. By coating his agile subjects in flour, he is able to track their motion across a single frame. Like stardust flung across Franke’s spare set, the white powder explodes in the wake of leaps and bounds, allowing the passage of time to exist within a still photograph.
Poised at the edge of a boxing ring located in the courtyard of Bangkok’s Klong Prem prison, Vietnam-based photographer Aaron Joel Santos captures inmates as they prepare for Muay Thai fights that could determine the rest of their lives. Since 2013, the the Correctional Department of Thailand has worked alongside Prison Fight, a charity organization that provides gear and boxing training to maximum security inmates. Hundreds of Thai prisoners, convicted of crimes ranging from theft to murder, become highly-skilled athletes in hopes of beating free foreign fighters and earning a reduced sentence.