Los Angeles
Photo-Documentary by Andrija Ilic

LA 1
LA 2 

For most of us, the "City of Angels" evokes images of the glamour of Hollywood, famous movie stars in luxury houses, beautiful beaches, palm trees and the warm California sun. In coming to LA from Belgrade, I wanted to see beyond the stereotypes. My trip took me straight to the heart of this metropolis, down wide avenues where every step was a world of discovery, and where the shining image of LA became a world in which vision, courage and love meant survival.

Lost Angels

The streets of LA are difficult to portray through a lens; you really need to be there, to feel the spirit. You can feel the steady rhythm of the city on every corner, from the booming stereos of cars as they sit in traffic, even in the moves of the people passing by; kids in front of the store selling their pet snakes, police in the hood, street musicians, artists, the homeless. This was the Los Angeles I was looking for, unique and unforgettable.

LA Times
Street Music
Night Life

What I saw in Watts was perhaps the highlight of my trip to LA. A small but extraordinary group of people from Watts got together to create the Community Self-Determination Institute. Founded and staffed entirely by members of the community, including ex-gang members, African-Americans, Latinos, males and females, the Institute truly represents the neighborhood it serves. In Europe, most people remain cold and distant when it comes to the problems of others, but the people of Watts, LA, and particularly of CSDI, put a great deal of energy and effort into raising the standard of life in their communities, for themselves and for others.

Spare Change

My trip coincided with a major anti-war rally that took place in down town LA. It was incredible to see all the colors of the world unite under the banner of peace. The image of a river of people flowing through the center of the city broke a stereotype of America I had held, one which saw America as a nation solely bent on power and control.

No War


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