Boogie September 23, 2009Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Serbia.
Belgrade, Serbia 1996
Boogie (B. 1979, Serbia) began photographing rebellion and unrest during the civil war that ravaged his country during the 1990s. Growing up in a war-torn country defined Boogie’s style and attraction to the darker side of human existence. He moved to New York City in 1998, and now lives and works in Brooklyn. He has published five monographs, IT’S ALL GOOD (powerHouse Books, 2006), BOOGIE (powerHouse Books, 2007), SAO PAULO (Upper Playground, 2008), ISTANBUL (Upper Playground, 2008) and BELGRADE BELONGS TO ME (powerHouse Books, 2009). His clients and publications credits include Nike, Lee jeans, The New York Times, Rolling Stone Magazine, Playboy and Vibe magazine. His work has been exhibited in Paris, New York, Tokyo and Istanbul.
About the Photograph:
“Living under Milošević was like living in a mental institution. It was apocalyptic. Pensions and salaries were three to five U.S. Dollars. People, especially the old and retired, were literally starving. The streets were empty. There was a shortage of gasoline, so there were very few cars on the street. And then, in the middle of the night, you would see a police truck cruising slowly. There were protests against Milosevic every day. In the beginning they were peaceful, so I didn’t go. I don’t believe in peaceful, passive resistance. It’s either grab the gun and go to the woods or sit at home. But then they turned violent. The police were very brutal, beating protesters mercilessly. And that’s when I started to go out and shoot photographs. Milosevic wasn’t sure cops from Belgrade would be tough enough—they might not want to beat on their neighbors. So cops were brought from other parts of Serbia, huge cops with mustaches, in riot gear. I ran from them a few times. Scary.”