Steampunk And The State Of Subcultures Today
Subcultures may seem to be in decline in a globalized environment where blandness seems to reign and people are more connected, and thus more homogenised. This is not the case. Paul Hodkinson’s research into gothic and ageing shows that subcultures include a wider range of people than today’s youth.
Whitby Goth Weekend is a strange event that takes place twice a year in a small coastal town. The festival was originally organize as a goth gathering back in 1994. It is now one the largest events on the European goth calendar. The festival, which was held the last weekend in November, is no longer limit to goths. Many steampunk fans have begun to attend. What does this all mean for subculture today?
Goth was popularize in the 1970s. Andrew Eldritch rejects any association with The Sisters of Mercy. Although the music is varied, it is often characterize by heavy drum beats on a drum machine, rock guitarists, low-register male vocals and, as a counterpoint to this, a high-register female voice. It’s not just a music genre. Goth is a lifestyle choice for many.
Goths are most well-known for their dark aesthetic. This is why they often choose black clothes, piercings and tattoos. Catherine Spooner’s forthcoming novel explains that this is not to suggest that the culture is terrible. Whitby Goth Weekend’s humorous side is evident when we take a look at its annual football tournament, which features black-clad supporters and players with unusually long, dark hair.
Dracula’s Backyard Subcultures
Whitby Goth Weekend’s foundations are root in a specific musical and sub-cultural affiliation. However, this has been somewhat diversified over the years. Whitby attracts many people who may not identify themselves as goths. They enjoy the spectacle of fashion and the photography opportunities. Many are attract to the literary heritage of St Mary’s Church and the Abbey, which were feature in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula. Some attendees find this a distraction from the subculture, much to their dismay.
There have been long-standing debates within theories of subculture over the nature of authenticity. This includes Sara Thornton’s concept of subcultural capital 1995. She believes it is tie to an assertion that one is unique and a claim of subcultural authority. Ross Haenfler points out that, while individuality, tolerance, and creative-free play are all often cite as subculture markers, in reality, there are always fights over hierarchy.
The festival is not static, however. Recent appearances by William Control, a synth-rock band from London, and Cold in Berlin, a darkwave band from London, show that there are new sounds and a new generation of attendees.
Diversification can also include other genres like steampunk. To coincide with the festival, James Richardson-Brown Captain Sydeian organized the first steampunk meeting in Whitby in 2007. In a series fringe events held at The Rifle Club, steam punks have gathered alongside the traditional community since that time. It’s not that these subcultures don’t overlap. Abney Park, one of the most prominent steampunk bands has headlined the main event three times. This shift shows that there is fluidity in both subcultures.
A Girl Wearing Goggles Is My Favourite Thing About Her
KW Jeter, the author of the term steampunk, is often credited with inventing it. He later defined it as a taste for copper and brass and the ticking and hissing mesh-&grind of Victorian technology. He describes steampunk as an aesthetic rejection of modern mass production’s smooth surfaces. This retro-technology is also embraced by many steampunk participants.
Not unlike goth steampunk was born from literary culture, but not music. It embraces anachronism, science fiction, and has reference points that include Mary Shelley and H G Wells. Steampunk is at its best when it is political. The Steampunk Magazine contains a wealth of radical politics, including discussions about gender, activism, and anti-capitalism.
Unwoman, a performer whose stage name is derived from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale 85, explores many of these themes on her 2012 album The Fires That I Started. However, The Men that Will Not Be Blamed For Anything emphasize the “-punk” aspect of the genre and slam the Victorian age’s inequalities in songs like Third Class Coffin.
Dark Tones And A Nostalgic Subcultures
Steampunk is associated with dark tones and a nostalgic, but not uncritical, approach to Victorian times. It includes technology and arts and craft practice. But there’s a darker side to Steampunk, as Captain Sydeian, among others, has called it.
This steampunk/goth overlap is perhaps best represent by Dr Geof. His art is a combination of historical anachronism and whimsy as well as subcultures, fetish and gentle satire. He might usefully place in wider debates about Neo-Victorianism poker pelangi.
Where are the UK subcultures going from here? Although the idea of subculture synthesis does not necessarily mean their demise, contemporary discussion about these identities is dominate by ideas of what Hodkinson refers to as a pick-and mix approach. Whitby attendees believe that any future resentments could ease. The steampunk community is now able to have its own weekend in Whitby, February 2017. There are also several events that focus on their subculture. The Lincoln Asylum is the most prominent. It seems that the notion of a localized belonging is still very important in this age of globalization.