What Drunk People Eat
"It’s 2AM in the morning. You and your mates are drunk. What is your dream? A disgusting fat kebab dripping of fat and sauce, or maybe some oily fried chicken or unidentified bagel. Here is what drunk people eat."
PHOTO AND TEXT BY CHRISTIAN HELGI BEAUSSIER
I napped from 10PM to 2AM, jumped on my blue Peugeot bike and cycled from Fish Island to Shoreditch along Regents Canal. Why Shoreditch? It’s one of the busier areas in East London with an important concentration of clubs, pubs and bars.
When I do street photography, I usually ask people to pose for me. However I assumed that drunk people don't want dirty pictures of them eating. So I first tried sniper pics, like a wildlife photographer. Not easy, but very challenging because of the tricky circumstances: moving subjects and very bright lights in the night. I was curious of the possible aggressive reaction of partygoers. After all, I was invisible for them as they didn’t even pay attention to me. They were too hungry or too drunk. Maybe both. And when some noticed me it was always friendly but inconsistent drunk conversation. Deep talks.
I was looking for a typical British Fish and Chip but I didn’t find one. So I picked the well known “Kebab Zero” and a famous touristy 24/7 Bagel shop from pallid light to red neon glow. Various comments came from the customers on this venues: “hell on earth”, “past party paradise”, “temple of shit food”, “my favorite place at 4AM”...
It’s a fascinating experience to go out to a party zone of the city as an observer. London is full of lost souls… but why the hell are all these people making themselves so miserable? Shoreditch by night is the sin city part of London. Crowded streets, hectic traffic, noise, club music, smoke and endless queues everywhere. The area is buzzing.
However most of the partygoers just seemed to be having a good time with a childish feeling in the air. One can get a sense of community in between these starving tipsy lads, kept warm while it's cold and wet outside.
Shooting these pictures in London makes me wonder what drunk people eat on the other side of the planet. What about drunk people in Reykjavik? In Paris? In Abidjan? In Beijing? In Moscow? To be continued and who knows… in a few years you may have a “WHAT DRUNK PEOPLE EAT” book for Christmas. And don’t drink too much, or you picture may be in it.
CHRISTIAN HELGI BEAUSSIER is French and Icelandic. He spent his childhood fighting with his brothers and reading bandes dessinées. Currently he's based in London. The food is slightly better across the canal, on the French side, but just slightly.