Recently, a handful of projects have caught my eye that use the before-and-after portrait to tell stories of violence. Several months ago I ran across the work of Nicolai Howalt, a Danish photographer. For his project and book, 141 Boxers, Howalt photographed teenage amateur boxers in Denmark immediately before and after their first entry into the ring. Each portrait is made in direct light with a neutral background, and when they're displayed in a grid on a gallery wall, they form a massive typology of young fighters—their developing game-faces clean and composed on the left, bludgeoned and sweaty on the right. They're striking not just in the transformations that occur, but in the subtle variations that can be seen across each fighter (you can see more on Howalt's site here). Did this boy win the fight? Did he lose? Is he proud? Terrified? There's also a menacing element to this work, and a certain Aryan creepiness factor at play when the viewer is confronted with a wall of overwhelmingly blond and blue-eyed youths, all of whom have just participated in a violent act we're more likely to associate with grown-ups.