Igor Coko

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.






Igor Čoko was born in Knin, Croatia in 1975.  He holds a degree in Ethnology and Anthropology. In his role of visual anthropologist, he uses his camera to capture and explore the sensibility of the street life, its people and life of stigmatized social groups. He is a editor in chief at the Grain photo magazine that showcase street and documentary photography. His photographs are published in leading magazines and newspapers from former Yugoslavia states and Europe, and thematic street photography e magazines and websites around Globe. He exhibited his work in Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Italy, Greece, USA, Spain, Portugal, France and Romania. He lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia


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Igor Coko