Stunning Portraits of New Zealand’s Largest Gang Will Give You Shivers
A group of disaffected youths banded together in 1960’s Hawkes Bay, New Zealand;they grew into the Mongrel Mob, the biggest gang in the country.The British Bulldog in German stahlhelm was chosen as a symbol to offend everyone. While it looks like a Nazi biker gang, it’s actually mixed race, including many Maoris and Polynesians, and doesn’t just focus on motorcycles. Jono Rotman spent 8 years taking their portraits.
Jono Rotman got in touch with the gang via NZ police gang liaisons. He wanted to take their portraits, which ended up helping him earn the gang’s trust. “Basically the more they thought it was honest, the more they understood I wanted to produce something more complex than a cultural postcard,” he said on an interview to Vice.
Jono Rotman was born in Wellington, NZ, but now lives in New York. He had done photography work in prisons and psychiatric institutions. Rotman started photographing gang members in 2007.