MODERN REALITIES BY ALEKSANDAR TODOROVIC

by Ariadna Zierold

aleksandar todorovic, serbia, culture, cultural, political, comics, pop culture, illustration, painting, modern, complex, f¡greed, upper playground

Aleksandar Todorovic is the child of the Serbian 90’s, meaning he has been exposed to a dramatic collapse of major moral and cultural values, along with the break-up of Yugoslav republic and the unfortunate war-colored years after. This period proves to be crucial in the formation of the artist’s visual language, as his learned impulse is that politicians equal evil. His style has been influenced by comics and pop culture, video games, and illustration, through which the artist endeavors in depicting the modern reality, such as it is – complex, crooked and festered with greed and ill will.

aleksandar todorovic, serbia, culture, cultural, political, comics, pop culture, illustration, painting, modern, complex, greed, upper playground aleksandar todorovic, serbia, culture, cultural, political, comics, pop culture, illustration, painting, modern, complex, greed, upper playground aleksandar todorovic, serbia, culture, cultural, political, comics, pop culture, illustration, painting, modern, complex, greed, upper playground aleksandar todorovic, serbia, culture, cultural, political, comics, pop culture, illustration, painting, modern, complex, greed, upper playground aleksandar todorovic, serbia, culture, cultural, political, comics, pop culture, illustration, painting, modern, complex, greed, upper playground

A Wah Do Dem by Boogie

Known as one of the most influential photographers of street culture in the new millennium, Boogie emerges once again to spark our curiosity and narrate authentic stories in his own raw style. A Wah Do Dem, Boogie’s sixth monograph, and his first one in color, takes us far away from the familiarity of the West, and throws us into the noisy and cryptic underbelly of Kingston, Jamaica. Through his pictures, Boogie illustrates both the madness and humanity of a complex place, where poverty, violence and crime are often dominant elements of daily life. He relies on his instincts to gain the trust of people who live on the edge of society, and to photograph their world in an honest and objective way. “I was waiting in a back alley, all the way down the lane, in one of the sketchiest neighborhoods in Kingston. It was pitch dark, and it felt like I had been waiting forever. At some point, a guy wearing a creepy horror movie mask and carrying an M-16 appeared from the dark,”Boogie writes in his introductory text, “Even though I was brought there by a friend of a friend, I was really nervous, you never know when things might turn ugly. After a brief introduction, I started taking pictures of the guy, roll after roll, I couldn’t stop. It was the last night of my first trip to Kingston, Jamaica, and at that moment I knew I had to come back again very soon.”

A Journal from Boogie…

We want to make sure we get Boogie’s words right on here… so read on…

I just came back from a 3 day trip around south-eastern Serbia with my friend Rastko. I’m still overwhelmed, it’ll take some time for everything to sink in. But I think I finally realized that my country is dying.

One thing is to hear about dying villages, deserted houses and abandoned pastures, it’s completely different to see it for yourself, and feel the energy. Villages that after WWII had the population of SIX HUNDRED for example, now have SIX OLD PEOPLE living there, and even they go away during the winter (check out the population diagram for the village of Papratna). There are no young people there, no children. In one village that we visited, there was one little girl, the only child in the village – but man, she has no kids to play with. It all breaks my heart!

There are hundreds, even thousands of abandoned decaying houses that nature is taking over. And nature is amazing there, wild as hell, there are wolfs, wild hog, deer … The destruction of Serbian villages was started by the communists after WWII. Slobodan Milosevic just carried it on in the 90s, and the people that are in power now have finished it off. I know it’s a global trend, to destroy small producers and let the corporations run rampant, but this is my country so it hurts more. You would think that certain things like your nation’s future, are not for sale , but I guess when you are a politician that sold his soul to the devil, you don’t care anymore.

My feeling is that dark days are around the corner, and having some good land somewhere will be very important (so you can grow your own tomatoes and not have to eat genetically modified shit and die young:). In the village of Papratna for example, you can buy a house and a piece of land for 500 euro… just so you know.

Photos by Rastko Samurovic.

Boogie in the city of Bor, Serbia, August 2010

Boogie spent a few days in Bor, Serbia this past month, and took a bunch of, typically, beautiful photos, and wrote this short essay:

Bor is a city in eastern Serbia which revolves around one of Europe’s biggest copper mines, once the pride of ex-Yugoslavian industry. In the 1990s, during the time of sanctions on Serbia, production in this mine dropped significantly and many people left the area. Outdated technology and the fact that the copper melting plant is in the center of the city have made Bor one of the most polluted cities in the Balkans, with the highest level of sulphur-dioxide (SO2) concentration in Europe.