Portraits Of…
Yugoslavian 80’s Punk Culture

Being  a punk in SoCal during the early 80’s was not an easy thing to do or be, but compared to other parts of the world, we had it pretty good! I’m just saying – yeah, some of us came from fucked up hoods with mad gangs, but places like Yugoslavia were communist and dealing with a police state that brutally oppressed its people. None of this could stop the power of punk, because from the photos of Jože Suhadolnik you can see they had a killer scene during the 80’s. He said he knew people that were actually jailed by the secret police for being apart of this sub culture…Peep what he said about his own encounters with the boys in blue – “I got a pretty huge police file that I found later in 1992 when police files were opened after Slovenian independence. My file contains some 400 plus pages just because I was photographing punks, concerts and hanging around with, at that time, dissident poets and writers.” When I look at his work from this era, it’s hard not to notice how fucking stylish these kids were – you can really see the influence of Robert Smith and Siouxsie. Jože collected all of his photos into a book called Balkan Pank, which was published by Akina Books but is now sold out. Check out these stellar portraits of Yugoslavian Punks below…

 

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Sean Reveron

Sean Reveron

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Miss Ballion
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Miss Ballion

The stuff about Yugo being dictatorship and us being opressed is just the western propaganda. It never stops ;(

dr kiko
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dr kiko

sean, yugoslavia was a free country. I bought the first J&MC and julian cope albums when I went there. your article is totally wrong. nice photos anyway. ps tito was great. millions times better than thatcher

Branko Nikolić
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Branko Nikolić

Dear Sean, you can’t imagine how it was. Beautiful days of my youth. You need to know that beeing a punk wasn’t a problem. It was really a joy. The other side of story is music scene in Yugoslavia. I must say that our scene was the strongest music scene in Europe after Brittish. No doubt about it. If you ever decide to visit this part of Earth I recomend Punk rock holiday. It is music festival in Tolmin, Slovenia. There we can meet and talk about unforgettable days from the 20th century. All the best from Belgrade,Serbia. And …… Read more »

pailhead
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pailhead

The regime wasn’t actually that brutal and oppressive. Sure they compiled files, but I believe it was mostly because this was something new and unknown. Also, the authorities in Slovenia were more liberal than in other republics (especially Serbia). I think i read an interview with the singer from Pekinska Patka (Novi Sad), where he mentioned being arrested or at least brought in for questioning. I think he said thats the reason behind their lyrics being so mellow. As long as it’s not challenging the establishment, it’s ok. Again, this is something new and unknown, not a force that would… Read more »

Effy Moon
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Andrés

Oana
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Oana

Sean, in the 80’s, and even before that, no one was oppressed, really. Our parents that remember this time could travel, had work, went to amazing concerts. Our music scene was overall great, and musicians were respected members of the society. I could easily say that 90% of people would swap this quasi-democracy we now have for that communist period anytime.

xxxduf
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xxxduf

Well it was not really a police state…Yugoslavia was not part of eastern communist block. They had their own socialism and it was kind of pretty liberal if you compare it with other countries at that time. Actually whole point of yugoslavia is that it was independent from other communist countries, and thats why it was so proggresive in all aspects: economic, cultural…

Sergio Wiesengrund
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Carla Alfaro :))) hablando de

Carla Alfaro
Guest

Esa es la galería que decía 🙂

Rusmir Murguz
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kool

Yane Mendoza
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Leitanm Reptil Neurotico <3

Kevin Gonzalez
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Andrés Romero Michael Martin

Wiktor Skok
Guest

wattie exploited and animal from anti nowhere league as “yugo punks”? hahha

doom
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doom

it takes like 2 or 3 brain cells to know that those pictures were taken at their gigs back then…

Arijana Karma Kovacevic
Guest

All of my yes!

Jonny Streety
Guest

Cool

Bianca Isabela
Guest

Goran

Šaran Somić
Guest

virgin prunes held a concert in yugoslavia?

Marko Pavlovic
Guest

Very cool.

Jake Welham
Guest

Jack Pitt This is around your area of interest, is it not?

Jack Pitt
Guest

It is! Did a blog about it myself ha. Cheers for the heads up though.

Jake Welham
Guest

I’ve not read it, just skimmed the photos, but I thought you might find it interesting haha

Jack Pitt
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I interviewed the guy who took the photos as while back as well, just haven’t written anything up yet!

Jack Pitt
Guest

The stuff about Yugoslavia being brutally oppressive is a bit overboard tbh, the UK has Thatcher at the same time and she wasn’t much better.

Ivan K. Maras
Guest

Kurac too much <3

Marko Pavlovic
Guest

Hahaha.

Dean Frank
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Sasha Li
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Patrick Dooley

LumpySpaceKing
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LumpySpaceKing

Fuck yea. And if anybody is interested in some decent yugoslavian punk check out bands like Pankrti, Pekinska Patka, Satan Panonski, elektricni orgazam, paraf, dobri isak…

Stefan Baumgartner
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Chilli Ćevapčići

Markøö Tremi
Guest
David Muerte
Guest

awesome

Markøö Tremi
Guest

yugoslavian GG Allin

Gradimir Nadzor
Guest

Satan was indeed a really intriguing person

Reilly Deacey
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Daniel Curtis

Ashleigh Stewart
Guest

Wonderful ♡ good share.