Belgrade Boogie Gets Down in Bobtown

Boogie is a Serbian Orthodox (that’s uh, goyishe) photographer originally from Belgrade and currently residing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, one of the most entrenched Hasidic enclaves in the modern world. While his work, available at artcoup.com, tends to focus on the darker elements of our society, extensively documenting the neo-Nazi subculture in Belgrade, as well as street gangs and crack addicts in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, and political upheaval around the world, every so often he turns his lens on his neighbors, the Satmar chasidim.

“Ever since I moved here from Belgrade—where I was never exposed to anything like this—I was struck by it, both aesthetically and culture-wise,” explains Boogie. “The preservation of it in today’s modern, fast-paced world is incredible.”

With regards to his work with skinheads and street gangs, Boogie takes the posture of National Geographic photographer on safari. “A friend of mine got to know a group of skinhead soccer supporters a few years ago, and when I heard about it I asked if he could introduce me to them. In photography, one always tries to shoot something that nobody else can. I accidentaly got a lead into this strange world, much like I did through another friend with gangs in the BedStuy Projects in Brooklyn.”

“I try to show things as they are,” he says, “which can sometimes be very brutal or hard to look at.”

Indeed, the images are disturbing—their intensity amplified by the profundity of Boogie’s photography. His daring descent into skinhead culture offers outside observers a unique insight into an otherwise off-limits and frightful world. It sure ain’t pretty. But for those committed to fighting racism and fascism, it gives us a good idea of what we’re up against.

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