LIVING BEHIND BARS
What is happening behind bars and closed heavy iron doors of the prison cells? Is it like we used to see at the movies? Or not? Researching daily life of the prisoners at the famous Belgrade County Jail, you can meet and feel energy of the other dimension. Where the piece of sky above the backyard is the only freedom prisoners can see. For a long time. I was making this story almost three years together in cooperation with Belgrade County Jail Treatment service, as a regular activity in the treatment of the prisoners through art…. Belgrade County Jail is the biggest of that type at the Balkans, located couple of miles from Belgrade downtown. Jail include prison section with 300 inmates serving their sentences for various type of crimes. I was making my story at the restricted cell block called “5-1”, were prisoners are locked for 22 hours including two hours they can spend at the fresh air. This story is the first in the history of Serbian photography that showcase prison life without censored details, identities… Real life behind bars, as it is.
“I spent over twenty years behind bars. Almost half of my life. I can not complain, my life and childhood were good. I had great and careful parents.. But bro, at some moment, in my teenage years, street took me away… And now, here we are, speaking in my cell… I ve change a lot of prisons. I ve been to Zabela prison, Sremska Mitrovica prison, I ve been to some foreingn prisons too… Living life on my own, I have to say that prison saved me twice. Once, when I got wild with weapons, second time when I made some shit being a street drug dealer… Soon, I m getting out and leaving this way of life behind… After all of these years, being here now in Belgrade County Jail, I feel like on vacation, beleive me. Here’ s like you live in one street and know whole neighbourhood. And finaly, I have a good treatment.” (a detail from the “Living behind bars” photo book)