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80s Hardcore

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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  1. Miss Ballion

    January 1, 2017 at 7:23 am

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

  2. dr kiko

    December 20, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    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

  3. Branko Nikolić

    August 27, 2015 at 9:12 am

    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 … don’t miss DEAD TO ME. They are back after two years, stronger than ever.

  4. pailhead

    August 27, 2015 at 9:01 am

    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 bring down the communist order.

    “Do you hate our great leader? No? Ok, go back to making that ruckus.”

    Being a punk in Yugoslavia in the 80s must have been amazing, (just being in YU in the 80s would have been), but in the 90s and 2000s… it wasn’t 🙁

  5. Effy Moon

    August 27, 2015 at 5:54 am


  6. Oana

    August 27, 2015 at 1:35 am

    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.

  7. xxxduf

    August 26, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    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…

  8. Sergio Wiesengrund

    August 26, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Carla Alfaro :))) hablando de

  9. Rusmir Murguz

    August 26, 2015 at 10:10 am


  10. Yane Mendoza

    August 26, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Leitanm Reptil Neurotico <3

  11. Kevin Gonzalez

    August 26, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Andrés Romero Michael Martin

  12. Wiktor Skok

    August 26, 2015 at 7:50 am

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

    • doom

      December 21, 2015 at 3:01 am

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

  13. Arijana Karma Kovacevic

    August 26, 2015 at 4:51 am

    All of my yes!

  14. Jonny Streety

    August 26, 2015 at 4:33 am


  15. Bianca Isabela

    August 26, 2015 at 4:31 am


  16. Šaran Somić

    August 26, 2015 at 4:28 am

    virgin prunes held a concert in yugoslavia?

  17. Marko Pavlovic

    August 26, 2015 at 4:07 am

    Very cool.

  18. Jake Welham

    August 26, 2015 at 2:41 am

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

    • Jack Pitt

      August 26, 2015 at 4:27 am

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

    • Jake Welham

      August 26, 2015 at 4:29 am

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

    • Jack Pitt

      August 26, 2015 at 4:30 am

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

    • Jack Pitt

      August 26, 2015 at 4:33 am

      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.

  19. Ivan K. Maras

    August 26, 2015 at 2:19 am

    Kurac too much <3

  20. Dean Frank

    August 26, 2015 at 2:09 am

  21. Sasha Li

    August 26, 2015 at 1:25 am

    Patrick Dooley

  22. LumpySpaceKing

    August 26, 2015 at 12:44 am

    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…

  23. Stefan Baumgartner

    August 26, 2015 at 12:15 am

    Chilli Ćevapčići

  24. Reilly Deacey

    August 26, 2015 at 12:04 am

    Daniel Curtis

  25. Ashleigh Stewart

    August 26, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Wonderful ♡ good share.

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