World Goth Day 2016 – The Independent, Kashmira Gander


World Goth Day 2016: Shedding light on the darkness of a much-maligned subculture

Former devotee Kashmira Gander sheds some light on one of the most misunderstood subcultres

Most pop subcultures are doomed to die – or if not, to persist in tragic parody like a bunch of middle-aged mods at a Butlin’s reunion. Quite right, too. They tend to coalesce around clusters of young people in reaction to the prevailing zeitgeist, then fade away as the object of rebellion changes, and time spent preening and building a music collection is eaten up by responsibilities. And before you know it, you’re an adult.

Thus, since it’s no longer 2007, few are now inclined to slip into some neon and describe themselves as Nu Rave. And just as revisionist historians now claim that only a tiny minority were actually swingin’ in the Sixties, so, in a decade, we’ll be debating whether the now-maligned hipsters, identified by facial hair and a penchant for niche coffee – even existed at all.

However, there is an exception. The “death cult” of Goth has, rather ironically, survived to become one of a handful of subcultures fully established in the mainstream consciousness. A layman could easily identify a devotee by their funereal aesthetic (black nail polish, Victorian-inspired clothes and black-lined eyes). And Goth hasn’t merely endured, but is thriving on a global scale. Around 20,000 people a year attend the Wave-Gotik-Treffen music festival in Leipzig, Germany; the biennial Whitby Goth Weekend attracts thousands to the seaside town described in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. And DJ Cruel Britannia – the co-founder of tomorrow’s World Goth Day, a yearly celebration – says it’s particularly popular in Brazil, even in the Amazon.

Inspired by a BBC Radio 6 Music documentary on all things Goth, which happened to air on 22 May, Britannia and fellow DJ martin oldgoth (who doesn’t like capital letters) established the occasion seven years ago. In a MySpace blog, he declared that Goth Day should be marked, for example, by “people wearing their Goth finery to work for a day… or contacting local radio stations to request airplay of songs related to the Gothic subculture”.


Read the entire article The Independent!


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