Black & White Photography by Igor Coko - Living Behind Bars

Igor Coko Living behind bars

What is life like behind bars and closed heavy iron doors of a prison cell? Is it what we see in movies, or something else?

“Researching on prisoners’ daily life at the infamous Belgrade County Jail, you can feel an energy coming from another dimension. Here, the sky above is the only freedom prisoners will have – For a long time.

I worked on this story for almost three years in cooperation with the Belgrade County Jail Treatment Service. The heavily guarded complex of Belgrade County Jail is the biggest facility of its type in the Balkans. It includes a prison section with 300 inmates serving their sentences for various crimes and is located just a few miles from Belgrade’s city center.

I was making my story at the restricted cell block called “5-1”. there, prisoners are locked up 22 hours a day, the remaining 2 hours spent in the outdoor yard for fresh air. This series of images is the first in the history of Serbian photography that documents prison life without censorship: Real-life behind bars, as it is.” – Igor Čoko

Born in Knin, Croatia in 1975, Igor Čoko holds a degree in Ethnology and Anthropology. As a visual anthropologist, Igor uses his camera to document and explore the life of people and specific social groups. – Discover more of Igor Coko’s work here

Monthly Photo Contest

Donell Gumiran - B&W Theme - Photo competition
© Donell Gumiran

2020 BLACK & WHITE AWARD Deadline: 30 November 2020

Street photography, fashion, portrait, conceptual, landscape, documentary: regardless of genres, this month we want to celebrate all the beauty and wealth of black & white images and we encourage photographers working across all genres to share with us their best monochromatic work!⁠

Enter now and show us what you got!


1st Prize: $1000 · 2nd Prize: $600 · 3rd Prize: $400

Submit Now