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Playboys, Favela Narcos, and Tehran Mafiosos: 550BC Publisher Spotlight

Pouria Khojastehpay

550BC is an Amsterdam-based publishing house founded by artist and photographer Pouria Khojastehpay, and focused on photojournalism that captures the culture of organized crime, conflict, and prison life around the world. These books are a stunning look into worlds that most of us will never see, even though their repercussions are felt by us all. Some of their catalog includes Favela Máfia, portraits of Rio de Janeiro’s infamous favela-based organized crime; Favela Narco Pets, showcasing the exotic animal trade in Rio’s favelas; Crime Wave Tehran, portraits and scenes from Tehran’s gangland; PLAYBOYS, a collection of British photographer Robert Yager’s photos of LA street gangs from the early 90s; HEAVYWEIGHT, documenting the cocaine wars in the Dutch underworld; and so many more — you can see the full collection here. Check out photos from some of 550BC’s books below, as well as a short documentary they did with Popular Front on the Sinaloa cartel.

Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

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